Florida, Texas Nation’s Biggest Producers Of Alleged Capitol Attackers!
Florida and Texas are currently tied for the most residents facing charges related to the January 6 assault on the Capitol. The score stands at 47 arrests from each state out of the 484 nationwide total, according to the USA Today database. (Business Insider has recorded 521 arrests so far.)
Texas and Florida are the second and third most populous states respectively, but they still disproportionately contributed to the MAGA mob: For instance, Floridians account for 6.6 percent of the nation's population but 9.7 percent of alleged January 6 insurrectionists. Texas boasts 8.7 percent of the US population, which is still less than its percentage of accused Capitol rioters. Just 29 people have been arrested in California, which is significantly larger than both states. New York, whose “values" Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz once smeared, has had 35 arrests, despite its close proximity to Washington, DC.
Florida Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist, who's running for governor, called his state's arrest total “stunning." He's requesting that GOP Governor Ron DeSantis create a bipartisan commission to investigate the state's links to the January 6 attack, not so much for finger-wagging but as a matter of "public safety." DeSantis is obviously too busy abusing the First Amendment and transgender children to bother addressing domestic terrorism. His press secretary, Christina Pushaw, dismissed Crist's request as "raw political opportunism."
From the Herald-Tribune:
Pushaw said "any individuals who are found guilty of committing crimes should be held responsible for their own actions." She added that Crist's proposal "is tailor-made for left-wing corporate media, not for everyday Floridians. Moreover, Crist's framing blames more than 20 million Floridians for the actions of a few, and that is simply unfair — and unserious."
DeSantis eagerly signed Republican “anti-riot" bills targeting left-wing protests against police violence and traitor monuments, but he'd rather ignore the January 6 riot, even though he still publicly supports the twice-impeached thug who incited the violence. He repeatedly refuses to answer the question “Was the 2020 election rigged?" with a firm, non-evasive “no."
Andrew Warren, the top prosecutor for the Tampa area and all of Hillsborough County, said a state commission would help prevent future crimes.
"This is about more than what happened on Jan. 6, this is about what could happen tomorrow," Warren said Friday during a press conference with Crist outside The Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg. "Nobody, Republican, Democrat, wants hate groups organizing, arming themselves and instigating violence in our state. Nobody. Investigating why so many Floridians breached the Capitol and committed crimes against our nation is critical to keeping hate out of our state and keeping our communities safe."
Florida pulls ahead of even Texas in arrests of alleged Capitol rioters associated with far right groups the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. The Herald-Tribune reports that Floridians account for more than 40 percent of the Oath Keepers arrested and about 25 percent of the Proud Boys. This includes leaders from both groups charged with helping plan the insurrection.
These are seriously violent people, who allegedly did more than just molest a Confederate statue. An East Naples Proud Boy is accused of pepper spraying a line of Capitol police officers. A Titusville Oath Keeper allegedly stashed weapons near the Capitol to provide a “quick reaction force." (He's also admitted to shooting his neighbor's dog, so he's a monster.) Federal authorities claim Audrey Southard-Rumsey from Spring Hill jammed a flag pole against a police sergeant's chest, “forcing him backwards until he fell into a statue and struck his head on the base." Quite the aggressive tourist!
Surveillance video allegedly showed Southard-Rumsey yelling at cops: "Tell Pelosi we are coming for that bitch ... There's a hundred thousand of us, what's it going to be?" and "Last friend, last bullet. What's it going to be?" Southard-Rumsey was arrested this month, but your Fox News-viewing relatives probably have no idea who she is. They still think "Pigs in a Blanket, Fry 'Em Like Bacon" is the official Black Lives Matter chant.
Republicans can try to both sides this and suggest that Rep. Maxine Waters also promotes violence, but no one arrested at a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, or Portland, Oregon, boldly declared, “Auntie Maxine sent me!" However, these accused insurrectionist thugs are devoted and vocal Donald Trump supporters.
Jeffrey Register from Fernandina Beach reportedly wore a “God, guns and Trump" hoodie while storming the Capitol. He confessed to the FBI that his ultimate objective was to "affect Congress's decision on" certifying the Electoral College vote. Register added that he wished he'd made it into the House chamber so he could "show his support for President Trump."
Donald Trump is the unrepentant leader of an insurgent movement. Republicans could've rejected him completely after January 6, but they'd rather sweep this all under the rug and keep Trump as the face of their party. Meanwhile, Trump has hate rallies scheduled in Ohio and Florida, where he'll spread more lies about the 2020 election. This is an ongoing national security threat, and the Republicans who choose to ignore it are all morally implicated.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."