Who's in Charge in Ferguson?

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon under fire for stumbling after question about who is ultimately responsible for Ferguson.
1:51 | 11/18/14

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Transcript for Who's in Charge in Ferguson?
least six months. David? Now to Ferguson, Missouri, when the grand jury is deciding whether to charge the white police officer who shot and killed Michael brown. Tonight the governor under scrutiny after his answer when asked who's responsible for what could come next. ABC news Steve osunsami is there. Reporter: He's the governor who just declared a state of emergency in Missouri, calling up the National Guard, seen here in August, to come back to Ferguson. But listen to what he said when asked if he is ultimately responsible for keeping the peace. Does the buck ultimately stop with you when it comes to how any protests are policed? Well I mean -- we're, um -- you know it -- Reporter: It was a news conference over the phone the governor himself called. It's -- we'll -- I just don't want to give operational details. I guess, is there any other official or agency ultimately in charge here in terms of response? Well I mean, it uh -- clearly -- Reporter: These are clearly sensitive times in Missouri. The grand jury debating possible charges in the police shooting death of Michel brown, could finish any day now. And authorities worry the racially charged case could bring even more of this, demonstrators fighting with police in the streets, and thieves using the case as an excuse to rob and loot. At an event in Ferguson today, where he swore in a commission to look into these issues here, he took a little more ownership. What's your hesitation there? Immediately after signing an executive order calling up the assets of the state, quite frankly, I thought it was relatively obvious. Reporter: Tonight, the warning is out to police who'll be assigned to work the streets when the decision comes down. The government say police will be targets for extremists. Officers working the beat we talked with say it's important to remember they have families too. Steve osunsami, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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