Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Missouri Monday afternoon, just days before a grand jury is expected to reach a decision about whether to indict Darren Wilson, the St. Louis County police officer who killed Michael Brown in August. The declaration, which is good for 30 days, also activates the National Guard in Missouri.

The National Guard will be in place this week and will serve in a "secondary role," according to St. Louis mayor Francis Slay. "We do not want to make this look like it's the militarization of our police department," Slay said. "The cops are just here to keep the peace. They're not here to clash with protesters."

As the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery notes, Nixon's decision, while somewhat jarring to hear ahead of the grand jury's decision, doesn't come as a surprise.

While the official deadline for the grand jury is January 7, the St. Louis County prosecutor has said he expects a decision by mid- to late-November.

[Image via AP]