Citizens Protest MPD Firings

This whole protest started with a Facebook group called "Freedom to Speak," which has now gathered hundreds of members. The group's creator says he created the page when he became concerned about the firings at the MPD. But "Freedom to Speak" became so large, the members decided to form a conservative political action wing.

"There's so many officers that have been fired or demoted, lost their pensions, paychecks and their families have suffered," organizer Jim Brashier says. "The years of experience they had are just a big loss to the community."

Many of the members of that wing were out today in front of the police department., sharing their cause with signs and chants in a peaceful protest. The group says the goal is to help officers.

"A lot of officers have lost their jobs. It was unwarranted. And the remainder of the officers are having to work under terrible conditions," protester Sandra Johnson explains.

One of today's protesters was Tom Wilson, a former officer at the MPD who says this is an issue close to his heart.

"It's nauseating. It's nauseating," he says.

Wilson says he's joined in support of his friends who have been impacted in the department.

"They're being bullied, intimidating," he says. "And if you don't believe it, just wait. It'll come out with all the lawsuits that are being filed."

But this protest is just the beginning for "Freedom to Speak." Organizers want to get involved with all future controversies where they feel someone has been wronged.

"We're going to be involved in anything political that goes on that we feel is wrong," Brashier says. "The firing of Ed Skipper, the civil service commission, those are things that bother us that we're really worried about."

If this is a movement you'd like to get involved with, you can join "Freedom to Speak" on Facebook.