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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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August 25th, 2014
06:38 PM ET

Officer Wilson supporters: Government and media choosing sides in Ferguson

(CNN) – The funeral for 18-year-old Michael Brown Monday drew thousands, including celebrities, civil rights leaders, and a White House delegation.

But for those seeking justice for the officer who killed Brown, the service was seen as another example of how the government and media are unfairly choosing sides in that deadly confrontation.

This weekend, supporters of Officer Darren Wilson gathered outside a south city St. Louis bar, popular with local law enforcement.

"My name is Darren Wilson. We are Darren Wilson," a woman said to a cheering crowd.

The pro-Wilson position occasionally showed up proudly and defiantly in Ferguson itself during the past two weeks of contentious protests.

But they found common cause and greater numbers on the other side of town, away from where they say so many have rallied around Brown.

"He's got hundreds of people supporting him and look around here, there's a handful of people. But we're not looting, we're not rioting, and we're standing up for what we believe is right," said Sarah, who would only give CNN her first name.

The 28-year-old police officer has not come forward since the August 9 incident.

"That's what we're here for; we're here to speak for Darren," she said.

Those rallying for the officer for the most part do not know him, they say they are offended by how his presumption of innocence has been ignored.

"I'm here because I see myself in his shoes, we're roughly the same age, we've got roughly the same amount of time on the job. I can see a situation like that happening to myself or my coworkers in any time, and I would want the benefit of the doubt for myself, my coworkers, or anyone else in law enforcement," said a fellow police officer, who would only give his first name, Joe.

Robin Clearmountain, who once worked for local police, says the most important color here is blue.

"Because these are my people, this is my family. Anybody that takes a bullet or takes harm to keep me safe, this is my family," Clearmountain said.

Some honked their approval as they passed, while others protested quietly on the other side of the street.

"Why I'm here is because people on that side of the street, they don't understand what a cop goes through how he takes his life on the line," said one man.

A recent New York Times/CBS poll found that 57% of African Americans think Brown's shooting was unjustified, 18% of whites hold the same view.

"We haven't made it about race, this is about the law, it's about doing the right thing," said Sarah.

"Do you realize the numbers coming out of Ferguson, the number of blacks that are arrested ... white people are scared to be down there. It's not a race issues, it's common sense," said John.

While CNN was talking to pro-Wilson demonstrators, a local resident, Victor Dewan, came by to tell the rally to go home, that he doesn't want trouble in his neighborhood.

"We don't want any controversy. There's a lot of black people live around here and I want for the peace. Let them get out of here. We don't want this street to be any violent," said Dewan.

But as he voiced his displeasure, divisions here became apparent once more, with protesters telling Dewan that it is their First Amendment right to protest, and telling him they are U.S. citizens.

Dewan replied that he is a U.S. citizen, too. Then one protester told him to learn to speak English.

"I am speaking English," Dewan said.

"I am speaking English do you understand that?! Stupid jack***, do you understand that?!" a protester yelled at Dewan.

The long simmering racial tensions in St. Louis continue to occasionally boil over, on both sides of town.

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