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On Sunday Talk Shows, Nixon Defends Curfew, Criticizes Release Of Video

Nixon at a press conference in August
Bill Greenblatt / UPI

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon made the rounds of the national talk shows on Sunday, explaining his actions in Ferguson and answering questions about the police, the protests and the ongoing investigations into the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown last Saturday at the hands of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.

On NBC’s "Meet The Press," Nixon said that he didn’t know that Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson was going to release on Friday the surveillance video that allegedly shows Michael Brown robbing a convenience store. Nixon said he didn’t approve of Jackson doing so.

“Yeah, we and our security team and the highway patrol did not know that it was going to be released, and I don’t think the attorney general knew that. And quite frankly we disagree deeply,” said Nixon. “To attempt to in essence disparage the character of this victim in the middle of the process like this is not right.”

But Nixon stopped short of saying that Jackson should be fired.

“Rest well assured that we’ve had serious discussion about that action,” he said and left it at that.

Nixon was also asked how the community could trust St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch with the local investigation after McCulloch criticized Nixon for taking control away from the St. Louis County Police and giving it over to the Missouri Highway Patrol.

Nixon said McCulloch was a “seasoned prosecutor who has an opportunity here to step up and do his job.”

Nixon also said that the federal investigation would help: “Having those dual investigations will help guarantee that this gets done in a timely fashion, that it’s done thoroughly, and that it gets justice.”

Later Sunday morning, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he'd ordered a federal autopsy of  Brown. That would make the third autopsy.

On CBS’s "Face The Nation," Nixon said that he thought that last night went better. He confirmed that law enforcement was not involved in the shooting of the man now in critical condition in an area hospital.

With most people obeying the curfew last night and only seven arrests made, Nixon said he is hopeful that the state is making progress toward restoring order.

“I think it’s right for people to grieve. I think it’s right for people to speak,” said Nixon.

Nixon also made similar points about the release of the surveillance video, noting that the "Justice Department also indicated they didn't think it should be released."