October 21, 2017
Although the overall scene was a win, there was one thing that went wrong at the Spencer talk (other than the Swastika shirt guy).
Unlike the Swastika shirt guy, no one really thinks this was a planned hoax. This is a result of not following the rules, plain and simple.
Three supporters of the prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer have been charged with attempted murder after police said one of the men, egged on by his friends, shot at protesters “with the intent to kill” following Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida on Thursday.
It was the most serious instance of violence reported in connection to Spencer’s appearance at the university.
The event was heavily protested but mostly went off without violence, until three men in a silver Jeep pulled up to a bus stop around 5:20 p.m. Thursday after Spencer had ended his speech. They had just come from the speech and were recorded on video giving interviews to media outlets, defending Spencer’s appearance.
“One of the passengers began yelling Hail Hitler and other chants” at the people at the bus stop, according to arrest reports released by the Gainesville Police Department. “An argument ensued,” and one of the people at the bus stop, whose name was redacted, “used a baton to hit the rear window of [the] vehicle.”
Tyler Eugene Tenbrink, 28, of Richmond, Texas, got out of the Jeep and pulled out a gun, police said.
Colton Gene Fears, 28, and William Henry Fears, 30, brothers who live in Pasadena, Texas, told Tenbrink to “kill them” and “shoot them,” according to the arrest reports. At one point William Fears got out of the vehicle too, according to one witness.
Tenbrink fired one shot, which missed a person at the bus stop and hit a business behind the person, and the men then got back in the Jeep and drove away, police said. The person took down the Jeep’s license plate number and the men were arrested 20 miles north of Gainesville, with a gun found in the car, police said. Tenbrink then confessed to being the gunman, they said.
“I am amazed that immediately after being shot at, a victim had the forethought to get the vehicle’s license number,” Gainesville police spokesman Ben Tobias said in a statement. “That key piece of information allowed officials from every level of multiple agencies to quickly identify and arrest these persons.”
Under Florida law, accomplices to an attempted murder can be charged as if they had fired the shots. Police said Tenbrink is a convicted felon and could face more charges because he was in possession of a gun.
It was not immediately clear if the men had lawyers. Tenbrink was ordered held in lieu of $3-million bond and the Fears brothers were ordered held in lieu of $1-million bond, according to police.
Tenbrink came from Texas to hear Spencer speak, and he told the Gainesville Sun in an interview before the shooting: “This is a mess. I’m disappointed in the course of things. It appears that the only answer left is violence, and nobody wants that.” He appears to be the same man who leapt over a police fence after being chased away from the event by protesters.
Before the shooting, William Fears told one journalist that he supported Spencer’s message, and he also told a Miami CBS news affiliate that the “only people who think we’re the violent ones, causing violence, are people who watch CNN.”
William Fears also told the Gainesville Sun: “It’s always been socially acceptable to punch a Nazi, to attack people if they have right-wing political leanings. Us coming in and saying we’re taking over your town, we’re starting to push back, we’re starting to want to intimidate back. We want to show our teeth a little bit because, you know, we’re not to be taken lightly. We don’t want violence; we don’t want harm. But at the end of the day, we’re not opposed to defending ourselves.“
I’m not going to condemn these guys totally – they’re going to jail for a long time and that is enough punishment without me throwing them under the bus – but I will condemn the lack of rule-following.
And before anything else: this isn’t attempted murder.
What apparently happened – which most media is skipping or distorting – is that the antifa attacked the car, they got out to confront them, antifa moved in to assault them, something happened involving a gun where a shot was fired, then the antifa waited 5 hours – no doubt talking to lawyers and getting a story straight – before calling the cops. The only reason you would wait five hours, with a group of people, before simply dial “911” after shots were fired is if you were putting together a story to protect yourself and harm the other guys as much as possible.
And I fully believe that the claims that these guys said “shoot them” and “kill them” are made up. That just sounds dumb, and if they were planning to do that they would have at least shot someone, instead of firing a single shot into a building.
So, I’m not sure any crime was committed.
That said, these three guys screwed up a bunch of very basic stuff.
And this is bad for not just them, but us as well – we don’t need to be tied to this type of thing.
Most Basic Protocol Violated Here
Look – we have a full guide on security at right-wing events, written by an internationally renowned security expert. And in that guide, we make it very clear: no guns, under any circumstances.
Being a felon carrying a gun is that much worse (that seems to be the only actual crime here).
I can, of course, see how the gun would have been pulled in self-defense, how the shot fired – a single shot – was presumably a warning shot, and this was all basically innocent.
But you see what happened – they’re getting charged with attempted murder. Whether those charges will stick, I don’t know, but in all likelihood, it’s going to be up to a public defender. Unless these guys have family money. Because I’m telling you right now – I’m not going to promote the legal fund of someone who violated basic rules above someone like Christopher Cantwell, who didn’t do anything wrong and is being held as a political prisoner. If these were the only guys in jail, okay – but they’re not, and the only reason they are in jail is because of knowingly violating security protocol which we’ve laid down very clearly.
Talking to Cops
Apparently – this is what is being reported – these guys all talked to the cops and admitted to something.
You are never, ever, ever supposed to do that. Under any circumstances.
Okay, so they were thinking “we just fired a warning shot in self-defense, there was no crime, we can just explain this to the cops and then only be dealing with the single felony in possession of a firearm charge” – and now they’re charged with attempted murder.
That is the way this works.
You can’t just “explain yourself” to the cops.
You don’t ever say anything to cops except “let me talk to a lawyer.”
Nothing more than that, ever, under any circumstances. No matter how long they hold you in a cell. That is all you say.
EVERYONE WATCH THIS:
This isn’t a joke or a game.
This is a big deal.
We aren’t joking with you when we say “do not bring fucking guns.”
And you should all not only be doing that for yourself, but you should be self-enforcing this among anyone you’re with.
These guys are going to prison. Furthermore, it is being reported that they have “connections to extremist groups,” so other people are going to get hassled over this by the feds.
You people need to take this stuff we say seriously. We are not just talking out of our asses here. This could have been a lot worse – if a warning shot in self-defense is “attempted murder,” imagine if someone had been shot and killed in self-defense? They would call that a “terrorist attack.”
That’s what they would call you shooting someone who attacked you – a terrorist attack.
That is the situation we are in here.
And it makes me extremely angry that these guys were so reckless as to put us all in a situation by refusing to follow simple rules, thinking they know better.