Supporters of “Making a Murderer” subjects Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey descended on Manitowoc County on Friday.
The protesters began assembling on Friday morning in front of the Manitowoc County Courthouse, a representative from the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office told Business Insider.
Protest organiser Megan McGuiness told WLUK-TV that she expects as many as 200 people to arrive for the “peaceful protest… to show our support for Steven and Brendan.”
“Manitowoc County take a stand. Don’t imprison an innocent man,” protesters chant. #MakingAMurderer
— Sarah Kloepping (@SarahKloepping) January 29, 2016
But tweets from the scene suggest fewer people arrived than McGuiness estimated.
Pro-Steven Avery rally draws…. about 50 people. Much easier to object from the comfort of one’s desk apparently. https://t.co/z7lNAOIZRc
— Eric Litke (@ericlitke) January 29, 2016
Local police have been preparing for the protest for the past month and say that they’re planning for the protest to go ahead without incident, but are preparing for the worst.
“There are a lot of people in Manitowoc County that think Steven Avery is right where he needs to be. We’ve planned for that, so if we do get anti-activists showing up we are prepared to deal with that,” Manitowoc Police Capt. Larry Zimney told the local news station.
Anti-activists did make an appearance. One video tweeted from the scene shows Avery and Dassey supporters and nonsupporters yelling at one another.
— Michelle Clemens (@michelleclemens) January 29, 2016
Manitowoc County entered the national spotlight in December when Netflix series “Making a Murderer” was released and began sparking debates over the convictions of Avery and Dassey.
It followed both trials in the 2005 murder of Auto Trader magazine photographer, Teresa Halbach. She was allegedly last seen on the Avery property. Previously, Avery was exonerated for assaulting a local female jogger after already serving 18 years in prison. At the time of Halbach’s murder, he was suing Manitowoc County and the officers involved in his conviction in a $36 million civil suit. His defence argued that the police were framing him.
Dassey, 16 at the time of the murder, would later confess to helping his uncle with the murder, though interrogation tapes have cast doubt on whether the confession was coerced or not.
Both are serving life sentences and appealing their convictions.
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