openly resist or refuse to obey.
From The St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
‘Oath Keepers’ are back on the rooftops in Ferguson despite St. Louis County ordinance
ST. LOUIS • A volunteer group of security guards associated with the national constitutional rights organization Oath Keepers says it never abandoned its post in Ferguson after being targeted by police for operating without a license.
St. Louis County police confronted the well-armed volunteers early Wednesday as they guarded the rooftops of buildings previously vandalized during unrest in Ferguson.
“The reason the Oath Keepers were not allowed to remain on the rooftops is that the individuals from the group did not adhere to St. Louis County ordinance regulating security officers, couriers, and guards,” St. Louis County police spokesman Shawn McGuire said Tuesday in a prepared statement.
He said ordinance 701.115 lays out the requirements.
“As a matter of public safety, the St. Louis County Police Department must adhere to our policies that ensure security personnel have the required background and qualifications to perform such a role,” he added.
Sam Andrews, a local leader of Oath Keepers who in the original Post-Dispatch story on this topic wouldn’t provide his last name, said Tuesday that the guards returned to their posts after being told of the county’s regulation.
“Once we read the statute, we laughed at it,” he said. “Then, the next night, we were there.”
He pointed out part of the ordinance that describes a security guard as a person who is “employed.” He said the Oath Keepers active in Ferguson include former or off-duty police officers, as well as people with extensive military experience. He said all are unpaid for the work they are doing above a strip of stores and apartments two blocks from the Ferguson police and fire departments.
“This is not America,” he said. “We don’t tax volunteers.”
Since they’ve been back on the rooftops, Andrews said police haven’t tried to enforce the ordinance.
“Now that they know who some of our guys are, I suspect they are a lot less likely to challenge us,” said Andrews, a weapons engineer and former government contractor.
More Oath Keepers, upset by the damage to Ferguson and the police crackdown on the volunteer group, have been calling to come to Ferguson to help if needed.
McGuire, of the St. Louis County police, referred follow-up questions about the Oath Keepers to the St. Louis County counselor’s office, which could not be reach for comment Tuesday.
Human beings from all over the world have assembled in Ferguson, Missouri since August 9th, 2014, to protest the murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Those human beings have been labeled everything from rioting inciters to outside agitators….. and all things in between, for assembling & peaceful protest. Oathkeepers arrives with weapons and take armed positions on Ferguson rooftops and that is just fine & dandy. Protesters are arrested daily/nightly for standing in the street, or standing on sidewalks, and are unarmed. Oathkeepers are armed and pointing loaded weaponry at unarmed American and non American human beings and thats not a concern for St. Louis County law enforcement.
This racist double standard of caucasian privilege is precisely why there are protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, and all across The United States Of AmeriKKKa.
Oath Keepers Guard Ferguson’s Streets and Rooftops, Drawing Police Opposition
When night falls on Ferguson, Missouri, Sam Andrews gets to work.
Andrews – dressed in full camouflage and armed with an assault rifle and handgun – climbs to the roof of a dentist’s office to begin his nightly surveillance. He’s a member of the Oath Keepers, a group taking up armed positions on the streets and rooftops with the intent of protecting local businesses.
He says he’s here to defend “The best part of America, the creative part, the small businesses, the hardest working people in the United States of America. To defend them from arson.”
While some business owners are embracing the presence of Andrews and other do-it-yourself patrolmen with the Oath Keepers, many others – including police – are uncomfortable with the group’s mission.
The group was founded in March 2009 by Stewart Rhodes, a Yale-educated attorney and former army paratrooper. The Oath Keepers claim to have active chapters in all 50 states, as well as an estimated 40,000 members – which would make it one of the fastest growing far-right organizations in the world.
The Oath Keepers’ arrival comes at a sensitive time for police in the St. Louis suburb. A grand jury last week declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown.
Following the grand jury announcement, nights of unrest followed in Ferguson, with violent protests erupting and at least 17 stores vandalized and burned to the ground.
Natalie DuBose’s bake shop, “Natalie’s Cakes and More,” was broken into and looted.
“I didn’t have the extra savings or extra money to replace everything that was destroyed,” she told ABC News following the vandalism. “The threat of not being able to take care of your children makes you feel like less than a human being.”
DuBose’s story caught Andrews’ attention. He was watching the news at home 40 miles away.
“I can’t even imagine a governor that would leave a woman like this and her business to burn, like they did,” Andrews said. “But I value this woman as much as anything I’ve ever seen in my life.”
So Andrews came to Ferguson and put out a call online for more volunteers such as himself. The Oath Keepers’ presence hasn’t been met by full support, Andrews said.
“They were calling us the KKK, they were calling us the police. We were saying ‘We’re not the police, we’re here to defend you. We’re here to defend your rights,’” Andrews told ABC News.
While the unrest in Ferguson has dissipated since last week, Andrews and his fellow volunteers say they will continue to protect the bake shop, as well as the nearby dentist’s office. Marilyn Crider, who manages Ferguson Dental, is thankful for the support.
“I don’t know where they came from, but I have to thank God they showed up,” Crider said. “We wouldn’t be standing here working today. We wouldn’t have a building.”
What separates the Oath Keepers from other militia groups is that they recruit men and women of the military and law enforcement – vowing to disobey “unconstitutional orders” from what the group sees as an increasingly tyrannical president and government.
Many, including the police, have concerns with the Oath Keepers and their mission. Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism, called the Oath keepers an “extremist, anti-government group.”
“Everything that they say that stand for is based on this notion that the world and the government is going to become a dictatorship to try to prevent Americans from having their freedoms,” Segal said.
Ferguson is not the first time the Oath Keepers have made headlines. This past spring, after federal agents clashed with members of a Nevada cattle ranching family over the removal of a herd from federally-managed land, Oath Keepers and like-minded followers descended on the ranch to show their support.
Critics such as Segal have concerns with the group’s structure and viewpoints.
“When you believe that you have to arm yourself in order to protect the people from the government, and you’re such a loosely-organized group that anybody can join you, that’s a combination that can potentially create violent incidents in the future,” Segal said.
St. Louis County Police declined an interview with ABC News, but confirmed that it is investigating whether the Oath Keepers are breaking the law by providing security without a license.
But Andrews says the Oath Keepers plan to stay in Ferguson for the time being. He said hundreds of volunteers – of all races – have passed through the St. Louis suburb in recent weeks. But many of them wish to remain anonymous, preferring not to show their faces.
“We will be here just as long as it takes,” he told ABC News. “That is just the way it is.”
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: Business, Ferguson, grand jury, Missouri, Oath Keepers, Police, Police officer, Security guard, St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Louis County Police Department | 14 Comments »