The Oath Keepers who responded to Ferguson were a hand-selected group of military servicemen and police officers, according to the group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes. Rhodes said all were carefully vetted, and they were met with open arms by business owners and residents alike.
The St. Louis County Police have now incredibly threatened these volunteers with arrest for keeping the city safe:
Equipped with militia-style clothing and firearms, the Oath Keepers had been offering free security for businesses at risk of looting and arson in Ferguson.
They took up positions on rooftops after the St Louis suburb erupted in an orgy of violence and destruction following the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot dead 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Police questioned group members early last week and initially allowed them to stay.
But as tensions remained high in Ferguson over the weekend, St. Louis County police officers ordered the Oath Keepers to leave the rooftops, threatening them with arrest for operating without a licence.
‘When we hear information that someone, or a group, is providing security without a license, our department has to investigate the issue,’ police spokesman, Shawn McGuire, told the New York Times in an email.
Oath Keepers on the rooftops in Ferguson! John Karriman, veteran police officer and Academy instructor on guard. pic.twitter.com/E0MvMVM8rd
— Stewart Rhodes (@StewartRhodesOK) November 27, 2014