Earlier reports that the St. Louis county Police forced Oath Keeper volunteers from their positions guarding apartments and businesses in Ferguson, Missouri, seem to have been premature.
St. Louis County police cited an obscure regulation regarding paid armed security guards in an attempt to force the militia group to leave.
The Oath Keepers responded with laughter, and went right back to work.
“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.
Police have not attempted to arrest the Oath Keepers since they have returned to their positions, probably because they know that their bluff is absurd.
The question most people seem to have is, “Who is behind the attempt to push the Oath Keepers out of Ferguson?”
Odds are that we’ll never get a direct answer to that question, but we have a rabidly anti-Second Amendment Democrats holding the offices of President, U.S. Attorney General, and Missouri governor.
Take your pick from among “the usual suspects.”
It is not known how long Oath Keeper volunteers will remain in Ferguson providing security, but their presence is presumably tied to the likelihood of further rioting, looting, and arson by the criminal supporters of Michael Brown. Brown was a robbery suspect shot and killed in August after attempting to murder a Ferguson police officer.