Angry police in St. Louis have denounced the St. Louis Rams football players who made the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" pose in solidarity with Ferguson protesters on Sunday.
The St. Louis County Police Association, which includes the troubled town of Ferguson, said that it was "profoundly disappointed" in the five players who made the gesture, and are demanding that they are punished by their team, USA Today reported.
Wide receivers Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Chris Givens and Kenny Britt and tight end Jared Cook came on the field displaying the pose during the pre-game introduction.
The "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" stance that has become the symbol of protesters across the country following the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri.
The pose is a reference to the fact that some now-discredited witnesses had claimed Brown was holding up his hands peacefully when he was shot several times by Wilson, according to the MailOnline.
In a statement from the association, SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda said the players had not read the evidence vindicating Darren Wilson, who was cleared by a grand jury of any crime.
"The St. Louis Police Officers Association is profoundly disappointed with the members of the St. Louis Rams football team who chose to ignore the mountains of evidence released from the St. Louis County Grand Jury this week and engage in a display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive and inflammatory," said Roorda.
"Now that the evidence is in and Officer Wilson's account has been verified by physical and ballistic evidence as well as eyewitness testimony, which led the grand jury to conclude that no probable cause existed that Wilson engaged in any wrongdoing, it is unthinkable that hometown athletes would so publicly perpetuate a narrative that has been disproven over-and-over again.
"I'd remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertisers' products. It's cops and the good people of St. Louis and other NFL towns that do. Somebody needs to throw a flag on this play.
"All week long, the Rams and the NFL were on the phone with the St. Louis Police Department asking for assurances that the players and the fans would be kept safe from the violent protesters who had rioted, looted, and burned buildings in Ferguson.
"As the players and their fans sit safely in their dome under the watchful protection of hundreds of St. Louis' finest, they take to the turf to call a now-exonerated officer a murderer, that is way out-of-bounds, to put it in football parlance.”
A Rams spokesman said on Sunday that the team was unaware that the players had planned to make the gesture before the game against the Oakland Raiders.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.