Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has assured black faith leaders in St. Louis that the rights of peaceful protesters will be protected if unrest occurs after a judge rules in a former police officer's murder trial.
But after the meeting Monday at an AME church in St. Louis, the Republican governor stressed that any protest veering into violence will not be tolerated.
Former St. Louis officer Jason Stockley's trial ended last month, but Judge Timothy Wilson has yet to rule in the case. Activists have threatened civil disobedience that could include shutting down highways, airports or businesses if Stockley is acquitted in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith.
Stockley is white. Smith was black.
Greitens declined to offer specific details about protest security but said all options are on the table, including use of the National Guard.