Lancaster Police Chief, LNP Grasping Hard at Straws To Justify Claims that ‘White Nationalist’ Agitators Were…Present? [Also photos from today] [UPDATED]
This is getting downright childish.
The “proof” that Lancaster Police Chief Jarrad Berkihiser and Lancaster city leaders used to show that “white nationalists” were among protesters on Sunday – and by wild implication that they were behind the violence that erupted – is that someone had a “Molon Labe” tattoo.
It’s popular with certain, in particular, pro-gun groups, certain conservative elements and white nationalists,” he said.
“That’s not to say that the presence of that tattoo is immediately to say that this person is a white nationalist,” he said. “But the presence of the ‘Don’t tread on me’ gear and other paraphernalia, with some fairly unusual and erratic behavior on the part of some of these guys, left a number of us worried that they were not present at the protests for the purpose, or aims of the protests we were having,” he said.
The description is the first specific detail of what tipped police off to the possible presence of white nationalists in the weekend protests in Lancaster over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis last week.
For starters, the phrase from the Spartans has been used for decades by Second Amendment advocates – not white nationalists – and opposition to police brutality is among the core of beliefs held by gun owners. (I should know; I’m a Second Amendment advocate.)
The very idea of the primacy of private gun ownership is because gun owners don’t trust the police or the state.
That is to say, the very idea that Second Amendment advocates wouldn’t protest the death of George Floyd is laughable. It’s the kind thinking that comes from having no actual concept of what non-left wing ideas are, or any real intellectual contact with conservatives.
What does Berkihiser think conservatives and libertarians mean when we fly gear that says “Don’t Tread on Me? – we mean the state, i.e. the police and the government – that’s who we don’t want treading on us, the way they tread on George Floyd.
These people – city leaders and the LNP – are either being dishonest or incompetent, or a little of both.
And then to add insult to stupidity, they quote the police chief saying that the people who threw rocks and water bottles at police were white.
OK, that’s plausible. a majority of the crowd was white. Most of Antifa is white.
But were the rock throwers the same ones they’re slandering as “white nationalists?”
Sidenote, one of the men arrested at Monday night’s protest is an East Lampeter man named Julio V. Torres. What was he arrested for? Most of the agitation.
According to charging documents, around 7:45 p.m. in front of the police station, Torres “did throw objects which could cause bodily harm at police officers, did then speak with numerous other individuals in the crowd appearing to be directing their actions while doing so, and did also remove a barricade placed in the area for said protest and threw it into the middle of the street. These actions taken by Torres were done with the intent to prevent or coerce official action and then with the intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm.”
Torres ran from police and, once caught, resisted arrest by flailing his arms, kicking one officer in the side of the head twice and headbutting another officer, a criminal complaint said.
Torres is charged with riot, aggravated assault on police, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He was being held at Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail. A picture was not immediately available.
Berkihiser said on Monday:
“We also saw definite evidence that we believe white nationalist groups were here,” Berkihiser said. “Any time my officers were pelted with rocks or water bottles filled with cayenne pepper, it was coming from Caucasian individuals in the crowd.”
So we have confirmed troublemakers in custody, but they don’t fit the chief’s description of the troublemakers from Sunday.
And of the 6 arrests made Sunday, who we should assume are among the worst of the rabble rousers if the police are doing their job, none of them are identified as “white nationalists.”
Nope. But that’s the connection they want you to make.
Why? Because the liberal leadership of Lancaster city including Berkihiser want to placate the protesters, dampen their enthusiasm, and put the blame for the police’s response on the boogeyman of “white nationalists.”
They don’t want protesters mad that cops had to pepper spray the crowd when it got too rowdy.
Also, for the LNP, it makes for sexier headlines to talk about “white nationalists.”
Lancaster deserves better than cowardly leadership from it city government and its police chief. It deserves better than a newspaper that treats its readers like they’re stupid.
The evidence is overwhelming that the majority of the agitators of violence in the protests nationwide and in Pennsylvania are anarchists and Antifa activists.
By the way Tuesday’s protest in front of the police station was largely quiet with a turnout of a few hundred. Here are some pictures from today.
[UPDATE – 10:20 p.m. – I died of second-hand embarrassment reading this, both the prose and Berkihiser’s pandering. Also, how do you ensure you drive away all the best officers from a police force and ensure rising crime rates? Here’s how.]