Reports of police brutality in the wake of mostly peaceful protests have become commonplace in the last two weeks, but even more horrific events have somehow escaped the spotlight. One man apparently tweeted his intent to “poison” protesters for BLM — and then was foolish enough to update followers on the results of his plan. No word yet on whether or not authorities have picked him up, or whether or not the FBI has become involved.
Terrorist threats like these are becoming increasingly common as well. Whereas Trump has tried repeatedly to pin violence on members of the group antifa instead of white supremacists groups, actual facts seemingly point to the latter as the real source of violence (and divisiveness in general).
Another man who drove into protesters admitted to being a leader within the KKK.
Henrico County Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor said, “The accused, by his own admission and by a cursory glance at social media, is an admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology. We are investigating whether hate crimes charges are appropriate.”
Events like these are historically relevant as well, because most are copycats of earlier crimes. James Alex Fields Jr. killed protester Heather Heyer on August 12, 2017. Taylor said, “We lived through this in Virginia in Charlottesville in 2017. I promise Henricoans that this egregious criminal act will not go unpunished. Hate has no place here under my watch.”
Crimes like these are a form of domestic terrorism. They have spurred a new wave of personal injury lawsuits and a conversation on criminal justice reform even when our criminal defense attorneys are at their busiest. We welcome such a conversation. Virginia’s values are changing, and the institutions operating underneath her flags need to change with them.