As if the Manitowoc Police Department wasn't having a hard enough time, the Manitowoc police are preparing for protestors who plan to gather in support of Avery and Dassey outside the courthouse this week. Local TV news station WBAY spoke with the organizers of three protest groups that will meet together in Manitowoc at 10 a.m. Friday. One of the protest organizers, Katie Stamoularas, said her group is trying to bring attention to a broken criminal justice system.
"We are here to send a message. We want the criminal justice system to be cleared up," the Milwaukee-area resident told WBAY. She added that local hotel rooms were sold out, and that people were flying in from as Oregon and Florida.
Captain Jason Freiboth, with the Manitowoc Police Department, said in a statement that the department is taking preparations, including the partial closing of a road near the courthouse. The police department had nothing to do with the investigation of Theresa Halbach's death that zeroed in on Steven Avery and then his nephew Brendan Dassey. The Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department had jurisdiction since the crime took place outside of the city.
Organizers of the two Avery-Dassey support groups have varied estimates for attendance, which together could range from 130 to 500 people. Stamoularas is an organizer of the Facebook group Justice for Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.
The other, the Steven Avery Project Facebook page, wants essentially the same thing as Stamoularas' one of the organizers, Megan McGuiness, said. "Making a Murderer opened up our eyes. Whatever your opinion is of Steven Avery, he deserves a fair trial," McGuiness, a Minessota resident, told WBAY.
The third group is significantly smaller and more local. The Facebook page We Love Manitowoc was created by Kim Geiser to clear up "misconceptions" about Northern Wisconsin. She has invited 289 people to a Facebook event to show the other protestors small-town hospitality. The event page reads:
Lets [sic] put aside our differences, join together in support for OUR community. So perhaps we can offer the protesters and media some hot coffee, smiles, stories of the good....heck maybe even hugs! ... It is not intended as anything but a kindness campaign so please respect the protest and instead of getting frustrated let's just smile and rise above it all!
There are currently just seven people attending to the event — although 52 more are listed as "interested." Geiser told WBAY, "Once people come here, they will see we’re just normal people who happened to live in the county where this (murder) happened."
It sounds like whether or not the protestors reach the powers that be in Wisconsin, they should at least stay warm.
Image: Making a Murderer/Netflix