Update 8/18: Missouri Governor Jay Nixon calls off curfew in Ferguson and says the National Guard will have a limited role.

(New York) In a joint statement issued today together with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund called for a de-escalation of the militarized response to civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

“The lack of clarity has forced peaceful protestors to surrender their constitutional and civil rights to avoid arrest and attack,” the groups said. “This will not promote the peace or dialogue that the Governor desires. We, too, would like to ensure the safety and welfare of all Ferguson citizens and businesses. However, we do not believe that this protection must come at the expense of constitutional freedoms and trust that Ferguson can balance these interests with the rights of lawful protesters.”