Sheriff's Deputy Recommends Rightwing Militia Plant Knife On Anyone They Happen To Murder
This is a video that has been going around since Thursday. It features a sheriff's deputy in Clackamas County, Oregon — where many rightwing militia members attempted to set up illegal "checkpoints" at which they held journalists at gunpoint, due to the imaginary threat of "antifa" activists either setting fires or looting houses — chatting up militia members about how he needs the public's help to deal with "antifa motherfuckers," and generally encouraging what they were doing and giving them advice on how to avoid running afoul of the law.
Antifa Arsonist Warning from Clackamas County Sheriff - MUST SEE! youtu.be
That would be bad enough. In fact, it was bad enough that Mark Nikolai, the deputy offering this advice, was placed on "leave." Sheriff's departments all over the west have had to issue statements explaining that no, the fires are not being set by antifa activists. This has been deeply disappointing news to rightwing zealots who were really hoping for a scenario in which they could murder some liberals and still not be the bad guys.
Via Oregon Live:
"As soon as I was made aware of this incident, I moved swiftly to place this deputy on leave while we investigate," Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said in the release. "The Sheriff's Office mission is to provide calm and safety especially during unprecedented times such as these. I expect nothing less of our deputies, and apologize to all in our community."
The video, in which deputy Mark Nikolai is aware he was being filmed, has a timestamp indicating it was filmed on Thursday.
"Antifa motherf-----s are out causing hell," the deputy says. "There's a lot of lives at stake and there's a lot of people's property at stake because these guys got some vendetta."
The deputy is heard on the video telling the person filming that deputies "need the public's help," in regard to anti-fascists. Numerous reports and photos of people being stopped by armed vigilantes in Clackamas County have been circulating on social media.
But it is much, much worse than just spreading terrible rumors. Because at about 1:14 in this other video below, Nikolai also tells the militia members that if they kill someone, they should leave a knife on the body in order to give themselves a way to claim self-defense.
Clackamas County Sheriff and Militia youtu.be
It should come as a huge surprise that Nikolai has been accused of fabricating evidence before.
Now, Nikolai has already been placed on leave, but given this, it seems unlikely he's going to get to continue having any kind of career in law enforcement at all, if only because the lawyers of anyone he arrests would be able to play this video and get the case thrown out, easy peasy. Also because literally everyone he's ever put in jail is now going to have some pretty solid grounds for an appeal.
Shockingly enough, there's actually no "but they were LIBERALS" defense in these kinds of scenarios.
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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. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse