Westboro Baptist Church is known for controversial protests and they’ve reportedly crashed yet another funeral by picketing. According to Omaha.com, members of the non-affiliated baptist church gathered at the funeral service for slain Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco on Tuesday, May 26. Although they planned to make their presence known, things definitely didn’t go as planned.
For those who missed it, the 29-year-old officer was fatally shot by 26-year-old Marcus Wheeler while serving an arrest warrant. Wheeler, who was already a suspect in connection with a previous shooting, began firing at officers when they approached him. Although officers fired back and ultimately killed Wheeler, unfortunately, they also lost Orozco amid the deadly shooting.
Sadly, she was killed just hours before she was scheduled to go on maternity leave. The officer’s untimely death made national headlines and sparked a media firestorm throughout Nebraska, which is why so many people opted to attend the highly publicized service.
Although her funeral was suppose to be an occasion of reflection and mourning, the controversial “hate speech” church was determined to declare otherwise. They reportedly assembled on a corner near the Interstate 480 underpass with an array of hateful signs with messages that read, “God Hates Your Tears” and “God Is Your Enemy.” But, luckily not many people were able to see those signs because Omaha supporters took a stand against the disheartening act. Supporters came out with white sheets painted with one single blue line across the middle. They stood in front of protesters holding up sheets in order to block the highly offensive signs.
Luckily, the Omaha supporters’ efforts weren’t in vain. By the time the funeral procession passed the Westboro Baptist Church “battle ground” most picketers had already left, reports Mad World News. Supporters were the only people visible at that point. Citizens were quite adamant about standing their ground and even created a Facebook page titled “Operation White Out Nebraska” documenting their group effort creating the sheets to shield Orozco’s family from the disheartening criticism. More than 3,000 people have supported the Facebook page.
“We will be blocking picketers with a wall made of white sheets to block Kerrie Orozco’s family from being able to see, or hear what they are doing.”
Several citizens spoke with Omaha.com to share their opinion of the Westboro Baptist Church’s picketing and their efforts to divert the negative attention. “Everybody just came together,” said Kate Kielion, daughter of a retired Omaha Police Capt. “Everybody wanted to help. Our purpose was to hide the hate and show the love, and that’s what happened.”
“We’re all in this together,” said Josh Swafford, of Omaha. “Everyone should be able to grieve in peace.”