Armed Oath Keepers involved in tense encounter with Louisville protesters
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A group of marching demonstrators exchanged words in a tense discussion with members of an armed group during protests in Louisville Thursday evening.
The group, holding firearms and wearing protective gear, referred to themselves as Oath Keepers. A man who told WAVE 3 News he is the group’s tactical leader said he is a former police officer and military veteran from Indiana.
He said their group was not in Louisville to antagonize social justice protesters or to stop them, but rather to protect businesses from rioters or looters.
“We can’t stop them from protesting. Hell, the police can’t stop them from protesting,” he said. “We’re just here simply to protect the businesses that reached out to us.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the Oath Keepers a group of tens of thousands of former members of law enforcement and military, and that it is one of the largest radical antigovernment groups in the U.S. today, basing its beliefs on a set of baseless conspiracy theories.
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