Mayor Slays says National Guard will only play a support role

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is asking Governor Jay Nixon to provide 400 members of the Missouri National Guard to help protect the city during anticipated protests following the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case.

"As long as they are in the city of St. Louis my understanding is they will be armed, they will be in uniform as I understand it. But as I said they are not going to be out there engaging with protestors," said Mayor Slay Wednesday afternoon.

He promises each guard member will be paired with a St. Louis City police officer to prevent random acts of violence, property destruction, looting or other criminal activity separate from the demonstrations.

"This is not about trying to intimidate.  This is not about trying to escalate. This is about trying maintain the peace in the city," Slay said.  The mayor sees the Guard help as a way to support city police officers who have been working 12 hour shifts .

The mayor said city officers will continue to engage protestors and crowds that may gather in the city after the ruling.

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Mayor Slay outlines National Guard role in St. Louis