It appears that the grand jury decision into the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, may be imminent:

“Gov. Jay Nixon today signed an executive order activating the Missouri National Guard to support law enforcement during any period of unrest that might occur following the grand jury’s decision concerning the investigation into the death of Michael Brown. The Governor said the Guard will provide support for law enforcement’s objectives of maintaining safety and protecting constitutional rights.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to plan and be prepared for any contingency, it is necessary to have these resources in place in advance of any announcement of the grand jury’s decision,” Gov. Nixon said. “These additional resources will support law enforcement’s efforts to maintain peace and protect those exercising their right to free speech. The National Guard is well-suited to provide security at command posts, fire stations and other locations as well as perform other functions that will free up law enforcement officers to remain focused on community policing and protecting constitutional rights.”

Gov. Nixon’s executive order also establishes that the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County Police Department and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department will operate as a unified command to keep members of the public safe and protect property, while allowing citizens to exercise their constitutional rights. Under the executive order, the St. Louis County Police Department will have command and operational control over security in the City of Ferguson in areas of protests and acts of civil disobedience, should such activities occur.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on events for the next few hours, but Governor Nixon’s decision does not necessarily mean that an announcement will come tonight or even tomorrow. Declaring a state of emergency allows Nixon to use the Guard for the next 30 days.

Authorities had previously stated that the grand jury would announce their decision between the middle and end of the month.