Columbia residents react to police group's Facebook post

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Officers' Association's Facebook post in support of Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson last August, sparked different opinions among residents in the area.

Some people thought the post, which called August 9 "Darren Wilson Day," was racial in its nature, but others thought the group had a right to express its opinion. Columbia resident Mike Jackson was not surprised to hear about the protests that ensued in Columbia.

"I think any statement this time of year regarding Ferguson would incite some sort of reaction from the public," Jackson said. "To me, it's baffling and unreal."

Willy Maxwell, a resident of Columbia for 40 years, said the group can say anything it wants, but he thinks the sentiment was out of line.

"They have a right to their opinions and to express themselves, but I find myself to be in complete disagreement with their opinion," Maxwell said. 

Despite the peaceful protests that occurred in Columbia Monday, Jackson said the movement for black justice has "lost steam." 

"It's not as inflammatory or emotional as it was a year ago," Jackson said.

Maxwell said the main issue with the grand jury decision clearing Wilson is that Wilson "charged, tried, convicted and executed" Brown in the course of a few minutes."

A few customers at Broadway Diner told KOMU 8 News they did not see anything wrong with the group's Facebook post. They said the group has the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.