Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has canceled his appearance this weekend at the Southern Governors Association’s annual meeting in Little Rock because of the conflict in Ferguson.
Nixon had planned to attend several Southern Governors Association events throughout the week, but on Thursday decided to stay in his state to oversee its response to several days of violence and protests ignited in the St. Louis suburb by an officer's fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Nixon’s office said.
“The governor [has] devoted a large part of his time working with Missouri highway patrol … working to make sure citizens are safe,” a spokesman with governor's office said in a statement.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe on Friday afternoon said Nixon sent his regrets about missing the conference. In his remarks, Beebe briefly touched on the situation in Ferguson, saying Nixon is doing a great job.
Nixon will be taking over as the Southern Governors Association chairman at the end of the year as Beebe’s term comes to a close.