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Tue Oct 6, 2020, 09:33 AM

Behind the armor: Oaf Keepers seek 'purpose' in protecting property despite charges of racism

LOUISVILLE —They'd already spent a full night — from dusk until dawn — defending a Shell gas station, standing behind concrete barriers at each street entrance with fatigues on and AR-15s at the ready. But when the action finally arrived after a grand jury declined to indict the police officers involved in Breonna Taylor's death, the armed men were caught largely unprepared, still strapping into body armor in a hotel parking lot.

More than 100 protesters — some wearing all black and carrying pistols — marched up to the approximately 20 people who had gathered on the evening of Sept. 24 awaiting instructions from the Oath Keepers, a heavily armed civilian group that has guarded private businesses during racial justice demonstrations this year.

The man leading the protesters, Chris Will, 34, criticized the people in fatigues for showing up to defend property but not the life of the 26-year-old Black woman who was killed by Louisville police in her apartment in March.

“Why didn’t every single one of you mo**********s put this s--- on to come help Breonna Taylor when they killed her?” Will asked the armed men, pointing at their body armor.


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