Oath Keepers help guard Ferguson from the rooftops… until local law enforcement tell them to leave

 

Several volunteers from an organization made up of military, law enforcement, fire fighters and other first responders known as Oath Keepers packed their gear and headed to Ferguson following the outbreak of violence after the announcement that Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the shooting death of Michael Brown. The volunteers have been called a militia, even vigilantes, but one member, Sam Andrews, explained they’re anything but.

“It’s really a broad group of citizens, and I’m sure their motivations are all different,” Andrews said. “In many of them, there’s probably a sense of patriotism. But I think in most of them, there’s probably something that they probably don’t even recognize: that we have a moral obligation to protect the weakest among us. When we see these violent people, these arsonists and anarchists, attacking, it just pokes at you in a deep place.”

However, Andrews also explained that they were selective about the volunteers.

“I don’t want any racists in my group,” he said. “I don’t want any people who want to visit violence on any group. I only want professionals with real credentials that can be verified and have experience in dealing with violence.”

The well-armed volunteers stood on the rooftops of local businesses, with firearms visible, in an effort to drive away those who intended to do harm in the city.

“When they’re here, there’s definitely a weight lifted off of our shoulders,” said Davis Vo, whose family owns New Chinese Gourmet. “I’d be lying if I said otherwise.”

Residents and business owners for the most part seemed to take kindly to the men watching them from above, but after several days of standing guard, the St. Louis County police ran them off.

“When we hear information that someone, or a group, is providing security without a license, our department has to investigate the issue,” a police spokesman, Shawn McGuire, said in an email.

The group was asked to abandon their posts on Friday and go home or face being arrested. They complied and went away as quietly as they appeared.

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[The New York Times]

Charles is the editor for 248 Shooter a midwest based gun news and gear review site as well as Online Content Director for On Target Magazine. He is an avid student taking classes from top tier trainers around the country. Charles shares his love for training as well as experience and opinions on some of the most talked about gear and products used by competitive shooters, military, leo and civilians.