Vietnam veteran David Hoech told the police Wednesday that they’d have to shoot him to prevent him from speaking with the protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, where police have been clashing with demonstrators for days after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
“I said, ‘I want to go and talk to the people,’” Hoech told Glenn Beck Thursday. “[The police] said, ‘You’re not going back there.’ I said, ‘This is America. I’ll do what I want, and I’ll go where I want. And I believe in the rule of law. You’re just going to have to shoot me because I’m going.’ And I did.”
Hoech, 74, said he lives about 60 miles west of St. Louis, and his wife passed away last year. According to the Daily Beast, he arrived with an oxygen tank, demanding to speak with the protesters.
Hoech told Beck that after they came out of the “shock they were in,” the police were “polite” and let him pass.
The veteran said there were a number of “agitators” on the ground, but most of the people were “peaceful and very nice.”
“The biggest agitator of all of this is CNN,” Hoech added. “They’ve been fanning this all morning, and now there’s talk they’re going to have rallies in every city. … We’ve got to stop this now.”
Hoech said the protests are getting “out of control” because the demonstrators, the press and law enforcement are getting “frazzled.”
“Some of them are running on three or four hours a sleep a night, and this thing needs to be put to sleep soon,” he said.
Hoech said if he was in charge, he would tell every minister, rabbi and religious leader in St. Louis to meet him in Ferguson to put a stop to the rioting.
“We’re not going to do anything except destroy ourselves” if this continues, he said.
Hoech said he wasn’t there when the police shot Brown, so he is not going to judge the family or the police. But he does know that Brown’s mother is in pain so he said he’s going to write her a letter.
He added that this is “nothing” like the Watts riots yet, but, “the more it gets fanned,” the more the fire is going to spread.
“Crap like this is an excuse to go out and vent anger,” he remarked. “Anger is the wind that blows out the candle of the mind. While everybody is angry, we accomplish nothing.”
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