Why Are the LNP and Lancaster City Officials Protecting Antifa, When the Only People Police Have Arrested or Are Searching for Are BLM and Antifa Agitators?
Lancaster Police are searching for a black male who planted multiple incendiary devices at Lancaster City Hall on May 30, the day before violent protests rocked downtown Lancaster.
The next day, a Sunday, more than 1,000 protesters faced off in downtown Lancaster with police from more than half a dozen departments, taunting and jeering and throwing objects, resulting in police being forced to pepper spray the most aggressive of the agitators.
But that was the extent of the violence. There were a half a dozen arrest, but that was it.
The political fallout that followed, however, was the most curious thing.
In the days that followed, Lancaster Police Chief Jarrad Berkihiser and Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace made a point to blame “outside agitators” – in particular alleged “white nationalists.”
In multiple statements, Berkihiser told reporters that police observed between five and 15 white men wearing body armor, some with guns on hips.
“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.”
Photographic evidence from the day disproves this, as there are multiple photos showing protesters of color throwing objects at police.
And really? Five to 15 white nationalist agitators with guns and body armor, and yet we haven’t seen a single photo, nor are police not on high alert scouring for them?
Are we supposed to be that gullible?
Still the LNP dutifully and uncritically reported Berkihiser and Sorace’s allegations.
Berkihiser went on to say later, and the LNP uncritically reported, that they’d identified these “white nationalists” based on their tattoos.
And it’s how Lancaster city police identified the “suspicious white agitators” who infiltrated Sunday’s protests in downtown Lancaster to instigate violence during a largely peaceful demonstration, a member of city council said Tuesday.
Sorace also claimed, and the LNP uncritically reported in that same story, that pictures of these 5-15 “white nationalists” were being reviewed by state police.
There were between five and 15 agitators, all white men in their late 20s and early 30s, Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace told reporters. She said a state police video system is being used to review footage and identify the agitators.
So here’s the thing – where is this evidence?
Where are the pictures?
Calls to Chief Berkihiser have gone repeatedly unanswered, and the chief has even blocked Lancaster-blog on Twitter. This story will be updated if Berkihiser returns calls.
Most interestingly, the only two people either arrested or sought in connection to the violence at or adjacent to the protests on May 31 have been an Antifa agitator and a black male.
As first reported by Lancaster-blog on June 4, Lancaster police arrested an Antifa agitator accused of threatening to burn down the police station during protests the weekend of May 30-31.
Police say that Gerald Grauert, 35, was making statements about burning down the police station after the protest Sunday night. Grauert attempted to get people to join him at the police station and told others to bring gas and other flammable items with them.
He was charged with three felony counts of criminal solicitation for arson, rioting and institutional vandalism.
And then there’s the suspect who planted incendiary devices at city hall the night before the violent protests, a black male.
So the only two people arrested or sought for anti-police and anti-government violence have been Antifa and a black male.
Now, you wouldn’t know that if you read the LNP. In almost a dozen news articles and editorials, they have mentioned that “white nationalists” were suspected of fomenting violence in Lancaster.
And in those same articles, the LNP mentions Antifa only once.
A dozen stories about a threat for which there is no evidence, and one story mentioning in passing Antifa – clearly linked to one if not both actual incidents of actual terroristic threats.
Berkihiser, to his credit, has partially walked back his allegations. In a June 9 email explaining events of May 31, he stated:
We could see within the crowd members of ANTIFA, also people were sending us photos of possible White Nationalists within the crowd so the threat for violence was very real and it is much better to call for additional assets before something erupts into violence then trying to call for those assets after mass violence has already occurred.
But the LNP and Sorace continue to beat the drum, shielding Antifa and blaming imaginary white nationalists.
The question becomes, why?
Why are the reporters and editorial writers at LNP soft peddling Antifa’s involvement in stoking violence here? Why is the LNP so uncritical in reporting anything that supports their biases?
The mayor and LNP have studiously avoided calling out Antifa in Lancaster, despite the overwhelming evidence that nationally this largely white, radically left militia is trying to take advantage of black protesters and smear their protests with violence, arson and looting.
The people of Lancaster County deserve more from leaders, and from their news media.