In recent days, supporters of Officer Darren Wilson, the Ferguson cop who fatally gunned down Michael Brown, have been more vocal and candid in their public backing of Wilson, who according to reports was severely beaten by Brown. Those gathering at pro-Darren Wilson rallies have offered a refreshing juxtaposition to week long riots in Ferguson, where violence, looting and hate messages dominated daily news reports and punctuated the night.
At a rally Saturday in south St. Louis, over a hundred or so supporters gathered with a message to the white officer at the center of this racially charged incident: We are Darren Wilson, and we support you.
At the rally, an unnamed organizer, wearing a police outfit, blue eye paint and cop glasses, said that they are not speaking for Darren Wilson or his legal team, but rather on behalf of the online campaign Support Darren Wilson.
We formally declare that we share the untitled belief that officer Wilson’s actions on August 9 were warranted and justified, and he has our unwavering support. We believe the evidence has and will continue to validate our position.
After thanking the media for finally highlighting the “other side of this story,” the organizer called out the media and their “strong bias against supporters of Wilson,” to which applause and cheers erupted from those gathered. She said such reports have “intensified the destruction of community of Ferguson and the surrounding St. Louis areas,” and that as a group, they have “no desire to engage in the negativity and hate that has paralyzed Wilson's ability to pursue justice.”
Some in their group have even received death threats, she pointed out, but said they will continue to respect everyone’s First Amendment rights.
“Can justice ever be obtained if one side of the supporters are in fear of speaking out?" she asked.
After blasting the media for outing supporters of Wilson by “drawing maps to houses, broadcasting in front of parties’ homes, knocking on their families' doors, putting people’s lives at risk,” she said that media gathered there will undoubtedly ask for her name. Her reply drew robust applause and cheers:
You want my name? My name in Darren Wilson. We are Darren Wilson.
Jeff Swiney, who has friends that are police officers and who was gathered Saturday, said: “Everybody needs to pull together and find the truth. They put on their badge every morning and might not come home,” he said. “I appreciate that.”
The rally took place in front of Barney's Sports Pub along Chippewa Street in St. Louis. Those gathered near the street held signs that read: “Justice Comes in All Colors,” “I don’t support a race, I support the truth” and “Innocent until proven guilty.” Cars honked their support as they drove by.
St. Louis police Officer Mark Rodebaugh, whose family owns the sports bar, said: “There’s two sides to every story. We’re here to protect them and protect their lives and property. We don’t want the community to give up on law enforcement.”
Last week, a Fox News insider reported that Officer Wilson was “severely beaten” in the skirmish with Brown, touching off a fresh round of protests among those on the ground in Ferguson, and online critics who claimed the report was exaggerated or fabricated.
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