Westboro Baptist Church attempted to picket Officer Kerrie Orozco’s funeral, but were met with backlash from the community.
On Tuesday, the city laid to rest Officer Orozco after she was shot last week by a violent criminal. The famous church, known for their hatred of gays, showed up to picket the ceremony. However, the citizens of Omaha weren’t going to let them taint Orozco’s funeral.
According to Mad World News, Orozco was attempting to serve an arrest warrant to 26-year-old Marcus Wheeler on May 20, when he pulled a pistol out and started firing at her. Her fellow officers started firing back, consequently killing Wheeler.
Sadly, Kerrie was murdered just hours before she was scheduled to go on maternity leave to care for her newborn daughter.
— Indianola PD (@IndianolaPD) May 28, 2015
According to Omaha.com, Omaha citizens were outraged by Orozco’s murder, and hundreds of people showed up to support the fallen officer. Unfortunately, so did around a dozen of the widely loathed organization, known for picketing military and police funerals.
“On May 20, 2015, God dealt with the law enforcement community of Nebraska, sending a shooter to kill young Officer Kerrie Orozco,” Westboro Baptist Church said in a press release on their website.
“Her personal circumstances render this a sorrowful tragedy. The minute this happened every police officer, official and citizen of Nebraska should have dropped to their knees in shame, mourning for the great sins of Nebraska. You should have sought God’s mercy and forgiveness. Did you? No, no! You dragged out your moldy bloody flags, thumped your ‘she’s a hero’ chests in defiance of God Almighty, and commenced making merchandise of this dead lady and her family. You’ve no shame and you’re merciless in the extreme! You will get no mercy from God!”
The church gathered on the corner of the Interstate 480 underpass, carrying signs that read “God Hates Your Tears” and “God Is Your Enemy.” Luckily, many of those signs weren’t able to be seen, as hundreds of citizens held up plain white sheets, with a single blue line painted on them, in front of the protesters.
Kate Kielion, the daughter of a retired Omaha police captain, organized the sheet-making, and said over 1,000 people signed up on Facebook for “Operation White Out Nebraska.”
“Everybody just came together,” Kielion said. “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, a 26-year-old Omaha resident. “Everyone should be able to grieve in peace.”
Keilion said she was shocked, and delighted, that so many people came together to help their cause.
“Without the community involvement, this would not have happened,” she said. “It was all them.”
[Photos via Imgur and Facebook]