Oath Keepers leader Sam Andrews told Infowars that business owners in Ferguson are begging them to protect private property against violent Michael Brown supporters even as police continue to harass members of the volunteer organization.
“Not only are they asking us to stay, more businesses are asking us ‘do you have more men, can you guard our business too?’ and so the business owners don’t want us to leave,” said Andrews, adding that residents believe the police have failed them in protecting against looters and arsonists.
Andrews noted that a plan to have police and National Guard in place on South and West Florissant last Monday night was revoked by Governor Nixon in favor of added security for government buildings, a change that virtually ensured Ferguson burned.
“That is criminal negligence, there’s nothing short of criminal negligence there,” said Andrews.
As we reported last week, Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder accused the Obama administration of leaning on Nixon to withdraw the National Guard from the worst hit areas at the height of the unrest. At least a dozen burned businesses were described as “total losses” after the rioting, while many others were looted. Some store owners such as Mumtaz Lalani have reluctantly chosen not to rebuild and are planning to leave Ferguson altogether.
Andrews complained that members of Oath Keepers continue to be harassed and threatened with arrest by police on the orders of St. Louis Police Chief Jon Belmar. Oath Keepers are now filing an injunction against St. Louis County Police to keep them away from private property.
“They have no authority to be on private property IDing people who haven’t committed a crime,” said Andrews, while also lambasting the labeling of Oath Keepers members as “right-wing radicals” for protecting private businesses whereas before they were hailed as heroes for providing security for news networks like ABC and CNN.
“Some of us showed our IDs and some of us didn’t show our IDs and they didn’t make any arrests so obviously it’s a big intimidation tactic,” said Andrews.
Police claim that the organization is operating without a license in violation of a city ordinance. Oath Keepers have responded by pointing out that none of its members are “employed,” therefore the ordinance is not applicable.
After members of the group returned to rooftops of businesses, police didn’t try 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,” Andrews told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Image: Natalie DuBose, owner of Natalie’s Cakes and More in Ferguson, which was ransacked by looters, thanks an Oath Keeper for protecting her bakery.