An armed group called the Oath Keepers has been acting as unofficial security for homes and storefronts in Ferguson, MO., which has been racked with violence since last Monday's announcement that police officer Darren Wilson would not be charged for shooting Michael Brown.
According to the Oath Keepers website:
Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
The Oath Keepers (video below), which boasts 35,000 members, was founded in 2009 by Stewart Rhodes, a libertarian and Yale graduate.
The Oath Keepers were questioned by law enforcement, but allowed to stay until Saturday. That's when St. Louis County police officers ordered the Oath Keepers to get off the town rooftops or be arrested for operating without a license.
“We are going to go back as protesters,” Rhodes told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“We thought [the police] were going to do it right this time,” added Rhodes. “But when Monday rolled around and they didn’t park the National Guard at these businesses, that’s when we said we have got to do something. Historically, the government almost always fails to protect people."
“When we hear information that someone, or a group, is providing security without a license, our department has to investigate the issue,” St. Louis County police spokesman Shawn McGuire told The New York Times.