'Oath Keepers' Militia Members On Patrol In Ferguson - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

News

'Oath Keepers' Militia Members On Patrol In Ferguson

Posted: Updated:
Oath Keepers in Ferguson, Missouri. Photo courtesy CBS News. Oath Keepers in Ferguson, Missouri. Photo courtesy CBS News.
FERGUSON, Missouri -

In the midst of a spasm of tension in Ferguson, Missouri, on the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, several heavily armed men carrying assault rifles and flak jackets appeared, and they weren't cops.

Instead, they said they were members of the Oath Keepers.

The group, led by a man identified only as John, told reporters they were in Ferguson to protect a journalist for InfoWars.com, a conservative website run by radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

"There were problems here, there were people who got hurt.We needed to be prepared for that," John told Reuters.

An Infowars representative told Reuters that it had not asked them for security.

One member of the militia-style group described the Oath Keepers as constitutionalists. On their website, they say they are "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."'

In a statement, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar called their presence "both unnecessary and inflammatory." St. Louis County police and prosecutors told CBS News said they would consult about the legality of openly displaying the weapons during a state of emergency, which had been declared Monday after violence rocked Ferguson during protests the previous evening.

Jones' website is well known for hosting inflammatory conservative rhetoric, and posting items that take an extreme view of current events. One of the headlines produced about the recent Ferguson unrest screams: "PROTESTERS DECLARE THEY ARE READY FOR WAR AS AMERICA'S IMPOVERISHED INNER CITIES THREATEN TO ERUPT."

A separate video claiming to be from an Oath Keepers' award banquet shows one of them imploring members to "assume the worst" and "prepare for economic collapse."

Oath Keepers is a national group best known as supporters of the Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy during a 2014 dispute with the Bureau of Land Management. The Idaho group gets its name from the 3 percent of Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War.

They come from what was a general rise in sometimes-violent anti-government activity in the Inland Northwest. After a lull following the demise of the Idaho-based neo-Nazi Aryan Nations in 2000, anti-government and white supremacist groups and individuals saw a dramatic uptick in activity and organization.

The Oath Keepers appear to still be active in multiple parts of the country. Last week, they were among several similar groups involved in a dispute in Montana over a mining claim.

The groups were there in support of a mine owner who is in contention with the U.S. Forest Service over his claim. Members of Oath Keepers, Pacific Patriot Network and 3% of Idaho said they came to Lincoln - the former hometown of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski - at White Hope Mine owner George Kornec's request.

In 2011, a member of the Georgia Oath Keepers, Darren Huff, was convicted in Tennessee on a federal firearms charge in what police said was a plot to take over a Tennessee courthouse and force President Barack Obama out of office.

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.

Links

Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.