Unified command believes reaching out to protest group will pay off

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JENNINGS, MO (KPLR) – St. Louis County grand jurors return to work Monday on the Michael Brown shooting case.  A source inside county government told FOX 2 they did not complete deliberations in the case Friday and will resume on Monday.

Law enforcement leaders from the Unified Command believe the time they have spent talking to protest groups will pay off.

"There will be continuous dialogue from the highest level to the people on the street ..  so if things do start to get out of balance.. we will have lines of communication where we can talk it out," explained Missouri's Director of the Department of Public Safety Dan Isom Saturday.   Isom paid a visit to the Unified Command staging area near Ferguson.  Law enforcement and media will the use shopping center location for official briefings.

Police hope to avoid the use of tear gas which they say was needed in August to disperse crowds that refused to leave the streets along West Florissant in Ferguson.
The challenge law enforcement faces is to give protestors room to demonstrate while making it safe for others to do their business uninterrupted.

Isom, the former Police Chief in St. Louis City, said "I think what people have to understand is that everybody has a right to express themselves.  We want them to do that in a very respectful way but it might be some minor disruptions that happen."

Estella Harrell, a senior citizen resident of Ferguson, made a plea Saturday to demonstrators to voice their opinions peacefully.  She is still trying to recover her good health after four nights of tear gas use in her residential neighborhood off West Florissant.

"Will I ever get my health back to where I was before?  My health means a lot to me. I'm a very active person and now I can't do anything," she said Saturday.  Harrell was teaching eleven water aerobic classes  a week at local YMCA's before tear gas canisters were released near her house.  Now she says she can't do much of anything and must inhale medicine four times a day.

Her plea to protestors:  "It's got to be peaceful and if you can't be peaceful then you need to go home."

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