It’s the story that family and friends of St. Louis area police officers have known for weeks as we watched married and last names disappear from our loved ones’ social media feeds. Â There are credible and serious threats not just against the police in this region, but against their wives, husbands, children and parents. Â These threats are coming in mostly through social media, and the police are taking them very seriously.
It started in late August. Â One friend was suddenly going by her maiden name. Â A cousin who is a firefighter removed his last name. Â Another friend who is the daughter of a prominent retired civil servant removed her maiden name. Â This was done in the name of safety. Â What exactly prompted the changes has never been fully explained. Â Until now. Â It is now to the point where police cannot even park their squad cars near their houses just to stop in for lunch just as a precaution. Â The first responders here in St. Louis are being threatened.
On Monday, Progressives Today made this video in Ferguson:
The chants and the threats are being taken very seriously, especially after protesters showed up at a state highway patrolman’s house this week. Â On Monday also, a protester videotaped another confrontation with threats to a city police officer. Â The officer contacted the woman’s employer, and as a result his family has been targeted online in addition to physical threats.
Jeff Roorda of the St. Louis Police Officers Association said it is his job to stand up for police officers, especially those receiving threats….
â€œThey want to be unabated in their attacks against law enforcement, mistreatment of facts and in their threats against law enforcement. These are people calling for violence against police officers,â€ said Roorda of the protesters.
So much for a free discussion on ideas in a peaceful, respectful setting. Â The late night protest groups want no such thing.
Gateway Pundit links a video from the local CBS affiliate, KMOV, where Jeff Roorda says: Â This is not freedom of speech. Â Threatening law enforcement and our kids is not freedom of speech.Â Mr. Roorda is correct. Â Threats are a crime. Â And they are being used as intimidation tactics by people who are determined to provoke police who are being remarkably restrained in the face of risks to their families’ safety.
So far, the incidents have been contained and no violence has spilled into this part of the story, but it is only a matter of time as the late night protesters will not abate even in the face of a turning tide of opinion in Ferguson. Â At the moment, we are all still fine, but that may well change.