A Missouri police group faced a backlash after declaring a day to honor the white police officer who shot a young African American man in Ferguson last year.

In a Facebook post, the Columbia MO Police Officers’ Association (CPOA) declared Aug. 9 — the day one year ago when police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, in Ferguson — “Darren Wilson Day.”

“Our Support for Officer Wilson has nothing to do with race or anything else other than the fact that he was thoroughly investigated, twice, once by the state of Missouri and once by President Obama’s Justice Department, and BOTH investigations found he did NOTHING wrong,” the post, since removed from Facebook, read, as Columbia’s ABC 17 reported. “Yet, he lost his job and his career (again … even though he was found to have done nothing wrong.) So, yes, we stand by this innocent, but persecuted, officer.”

The Facebook post also “included a picture that reads ‘Darren Wilson Day — Aug. 9th, 2015. We will always have your 6,’” according to ABC 17.

The Columbia Police Department — which is not affiliated with the CPOA — condemned the Facebook posting.

“The Columbia Police Department is a separate entity from CPOA and does not in any way condone the use of social media, or any other medium, to promote divisive messages in our community,” said the statement, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. “The Columbia Police Department will not allow a statement such as this to hinder our constant efforts to open the lines of communication with all people in our community.”

About 20 people gathered to protest the Facebook posting at the Columbia Police Department headquarters on Monday, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.

“It just really betrays the community and shows the lack of trust when we have police officers coming out supporting people like Darren Wilson,” Missouri NAACP President Mary Ratliff said at the protest. “We need to get those bad apples out of the police department so we can move forward and try to make some progress.”

“I found the post offensive, and I thought I needed to stand with the community and say what the police department thinks about it,” Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton said at the protest, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. “It was insensitive at best, and provocative at worst.”

After removing the post, CPOA — based in Columbia, Mo., a city of more than 100,000 people more than 100 miles west of Ferguson — posted a clarification of sorts on Monday.

“The CPOA’s post on Sunday regarding Darren Wilson was interpreted in a manner that was not the intended message,” the statement read. “In an effort to resolve the confusion, the CPOA wants to say this plainly: CPOA supports Officer Darren Wilson and all law enforcement officers who endure similar situations.”

“We’re a police officers union,” Dale Roberts, the CPOA’s executive director, told ABC 17“We support other police officers who have had to go through these kind of circumstances and in this case we support and have officer Wilson’s back for what he lost in spite of being cleared and having not done anything illegal.”

Roberts also said he had reposted the Darren Wilson Day message from a Missouri Fraternal Order of Police Facebook page. And though the CPOA has removed its post, others have shared similar sentiments, as a message that also declared Aug. 9 Darren Wilson Day posted to the Facebook group “I Support Police, Not Criminals” on Aug. 7 attests.

“Wilson shot Michael Brown in self-defense,” the statement reads. “Come celebrate the life of Darren Wilson with us.”

More about Ferguson, Mo., one year after Michael Brown’s shooting death: