After the riot that followed the grand jury’s decision last week not to indict Darren Wilson, members of the Oath Keepers—a controversial group of current and former military, police, and public safety officials who have pledged not to obey unconstitutional orders—arrived in Ferguson, Missouri. Armed with rifles and fire extinguishers, they stood guard on the rooftops, ready, they said, to protect local businesses from arsonists and looters.
Over the weekend, the police told them to stop. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
Following a night of arson fires and bashed storefronts that hit close to home, Greg Hildebrand stood naked Tuesday, drying off from a needed shower, when he noticed somebody on the rooftop.
“I opened the window and said, ‘Hey, can I help you?'” said Hildebrand, 35, a website developer.
The man said he was security and would be up there at night with others to protect the pocket of second-story apartments and lower-level storefronts near the Ferguson Police Department. A day earlier, rioters had broken out windows below Hildebrand’s apartment in the 100 block of South Florissant Road and torched a nearby beauty supply store.
“I am in the middle of a difficult spot,” Hildebrand said. “I feel a lot better having those guys up on the roof.”…
Police questioned group members early in the week and allowed them to stay. But Saturday, after media inquiries, St. Louis County police officers ordered the Oath Keepers to leave the rooftops.
Threatened with arrest for operating without a license, the volunteers argued but eventually left their positions early Saturday, [Oath Keepers founder Stewart] Rhodes said.