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Missouri National Guard’s Term for Ferguson Protesters: ‘Enemy Forces’

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In this Nov. 25, 2014 file photo, National Guard troops stand in front of the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department a day after a grand jury's decision in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. Newly released documents reveal that police planning for a grand jury announcement wanted Guard troops and armored Humvees stationed in the Ferguson neighborhood where Brown had been shot. But the records show the requests were not granted, because Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon preferred to use the Guard in a support role to police. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

In this Nov. 25, 2014 file photo, National Guard troops stand in front of the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department a day after a grand jury’s decision in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

 

Washington (CNN) – As the Missouri National Guard prepared to deploy to help quell riots in Ferguson, Missouri, that raged sporadically last year, the guard used highly militarized words such as “enemy forces” and “adversaries” to refer to protesters, according to documents obtained by CNN.

The guard came to Ferguson to support law enforcement officers, whom many community leaders and civil rights activists accused of using excessive force and inflaming an already tense situation in protests that flared sporadically from August through the end of the year.

The National Guard’s language, contained in internal mission briefings obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, is intensifying the concerns of some who objected to the police officers’ actions in putting down riots. They broke out after the August 9 shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by city police officer Darren Wilson. A grand jury declined to indict Wilson in the case.

“It’s disturbing when you have what amounts to American soldiers viewing American citizens somehow as the enemy,” said Antonio French, an alderman in St. Louis.

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