Far-right extremists keep reacting with surprised Pikachi faces when they actually face consequences for their actions. We’ve seen it with defendants in the January 6th attack, and now militia members who were arrested and charged for their roles in apparently planning to riot at a Pride event are also shocked and horrified to learn that jail isn’t a fun party.
First of all, we can acknowledge issues with how the justice system handles people accused but not yet convicted of crimes. These need to be addressed for all defendants, not just one political or social alignment.
Despite that, maybe a person who is part of a crowd piled into a Uhaul, carrying smoke grenades and riot shields and headed for a Pride event, shouldn’t be too shocked that the booking process takes a little while for 31 white nationalists arrested in a group. According to NPR, all 31 men who were packed into the truck were members of the Patriot Front extremist group, and paperwork in their possession that police say showed a “master plan” to stage a riot both at a Pride event being held in a park at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and in the downtown area.
Here’s Patriot Front founder, Thomas Rousseau, complaining about the jail conditions, including the fact that it took hours — he says it felt like 12 hours or more — to process the group, and that there were not enough inmate slippers for everyone.
Leader of Patriot Front crying about mistreatment after their arrest: “They didn’t even give us shoes! We were barefoot but still in uniform in cells .. It took them 12 hours before even beginning the booking process .. Camera, digital devices, money was seized with no recourse.” pic.twitter.com/BUV0idl1jr
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) June 17, 2022
Apparently he didn’t know that when one is arrested, their possessions — yes, including both money and camera equipment — are typically taken and held until release.
It’s hardly Rousseau’s first far-right event — according to the SPLC, he led a group called Vanguard America at the deadly 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally, was seen in photos with James Fields, who was arrested and charged with the murder of Heather Heyer at that event.
His presence is also documented at a book fair at the Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts community center, in Houston, where white nationalists “held banners that read “for race and nation,” lit flares, and chanted, “blood and soil.”
The FBI has reportedly been monitoring him since at least 2017.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com