Cop Saves His Favorite Special Proud Boys From Getting Teargassed Like Commoners
One of the myths that the police and your third cousin and that annoying guy you went to high school with whose friend request you forgot you ever accepted love to perpetuate is this idea that the reason the cops are teargassing and arresting and beating on people at these protests is that they are only teargassing and beating people and behaving the way they are because the protesters are behaving a certain way. Or because the protests themselves are going a certain way. We know that's not true, because so many of us saw protests that started out peacefully turn when the cops showed up in their riot gear and started acting like dicks.
They really do want to pretend that it's not an issue of ideology, despite the fact that cops never seem to go after rightwing protesters no matter how "out of hand" they get, or how many AK-47s they have strapped to their persons (or pointed at cops even), or how many times they threaten to overthrow the United States of America.
Of course, not only do cops not go after right-wing protesters, they don't go after them even when they are members of notorious groups we all know for a fact have been coming to the protests, pretending to be leftists and causing trouble in hopes of making the Left look bad. Groups like the Proud Boys.
For instance, here is a lovely video of a Sgt. Mike Johnson in Salem, Oregon, warning his good friends the Proud Boys to get out of Dodge on account of the fact that they're gonna be teargassing and arresting people soon. Oh, I'm sorry: Here he is requesting (his emphasis) they get out.
POLICE OFFICER TELLS PROUD BOYS TO HIDE INSIDE BUILDING BECAUSE THEY'RE ABOUT TO TEAR GAS PROTESTERS. THE OFFICER S… https://t.co/ZvSc73sxNa— SatelliteHeart (@SatelliteHeart)1591355616.0
Sgt. Johnson specifically says, to the gun-toting Proud Boys, that they're gonna enforce the curfew and arrest anybody that is walking around. Then he tells them:
My command wanted me to come talk to you guys and requeeest that you guys discreetly remain inside the buildings or in your vehicles, somewhere where it's not a violation. So we don't look like we're playing favorites.
In another video, Johnson is shown asking the armed Proud Boys to make sure to tell all of the other rightwing extremists to go hide in a building until they are done arresting libs.
UPDATE! THE STAR OF THE 1ST VIDEO HAS BEEN FOUND! Please say hello to SGT MIKE JOHNSON of the @SalemPoliceDept & h… https://t.co/sroUff2bAy— SatelliteHeart (@SatelliteHeart)1591376321.0
So yeah. The cops didn't want to be seen arresting everyone but the gun-toting white supremacists, because that would be a bad look. Almost as bad as this video.
They didn't want the Proud Boys to get teargassed or arrested, but anyone else? That's fine! Teargas them at the drop of a hat! Teargas them because the president wants to do some churchy glamour shots! Teargas them because you feel like it! It's fun! Especially since we know it actually makes COVID-19 worse and helps spread the virus! Why not?
This guy, this police officer making sure that the very delicate Proud Boys don't get the teargas meant for the liberals, his command asking him to go give them that info so they don't have to arrest them, is not an anomaly. For at least two decades now, rightwing extremists — white supremacists in particular — have infiltrated police forces around the country. The FBI first filed a report on it, bluntly titled "White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement," back in 2006. In 2015, the Intercept obtained another classified FBI document showing that this was a continuing investigation and an ongoing problem.
That document, an FBI Counterterrorism Policy Guide from April 2015, noted that "domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers."
Given this, it's not terrifically surprising that police officers protect Proud Boys and don't teargas conservative protesters. It's not because they're less dangerous, but because they often agree with them and therefore just don't consider them a threat. They see them as human beings and therefore would not like to see them hurt. Surely, if police officers started teargassing anti-lockdown protesters or white supremacist protesters or Proud Boys, their protests would look a little less than peaceful. Hell, Proud Boys regularly go around beating up people they think are "antifa" just for the fun of it. It's why several of them are in prison now. Imagine if they got teargassed or pelted with rubber bullets! That, in all likelihood, would not end well.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse