The ironically-named “Civil Rights Division” of the Biden justice-department” target=”_blank”>Justice Department< back in January. No one who pays attention was surprised to hear this.
In cases like this, the benefit of the doubt usually does goes to crime, and as we’ve often said, we’re fine with that. It should. But still, in a free society, the rest of us have a right to know roughly what happened. In this case, who shot Ashli Babbitt and why?
No one will tell us. The Biden administration says the man who killed Babbitt is a congress”>Capitol Hill< wrote a long story about the DOJ’s announcement in the case and never raised a single one of these questions. The Post didn’t name the shooter or even acknowledge that the government is withholding his name.
“Authorities determined that there was insufficient evidence to prove Babbitt’s civil rights were violated,” the Post declared. That was it. The rest of the piece was a personal attack on Ashli Babbitt and her political views. She deserved to die. That was the point of the Washington Post story.
How amazing to read something like this, especially now. Eleven hundred miles from Washington, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a police officer accidentally reached for her gun instead of a Taser and killed a man called Daunte Wright. It was a tragedy, as all shootings are. But we know that officer’s name because every news organization in the country printed it immediately. She has now resigned and is facing charges. Her mugshot is all over the Internet. Two nights ago, a mob showed up at her house, forcing her to flee.
She’s not the only one. Last August, a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin shot a man called Jacob Blake. Remember that? Riots erupted immediately. Yesterday, that officer was cleared of all charges. When that story broke, NPR put that police officer’s name and photograph on the front of their website.
So that’s the standard, except in this case where they are still hiding the identity of the man who shot Ashli Babbitt.
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Sensing a theme here? The standards that big news organizations use to cover shootings depend entirely on the political views of the people who get shot. When The Washington Post doesn’t like the candidates you vote for, they suppress the details of the case. In the case of Ashli Babbitt, we’d know next to nothing about how she died, and we wouldn’t know anything if her shooting hadn’t been captured on video by people who don’t work at the Washington Post.
One of those people is a video editor from Texas called Samuel Montyoa. Montoya was in the U.S. Capitol that day. Montoya doesn’t look much like a White supremacist, and he has no criminal history that we’re aware of. On Jan. 6, Samuel Montoya took what may be the clearest video of Ashli Babbitt’s death:
When you watch the video, there are a lot of things to notice. Ashli Babbitt had no weapon. She wasn’t attacking anyone. She couldn’t attack anyone, because she was climbing through a window at the moment she was shot. But what’s most striking is that several Capitol Hill police officers in paramilitary gear were standing directly behind Babbitt when she was killed. They were carrying what Joe Biden refers to as weapons of war — loaded AR-15s.
So tell us again how Ashli Babbitt posed an imminent physical threat to anyone when she was shot. She didn’t. Samuel Montoya’s footage proves it. And we’re grateful we have that tape. If we didn’t, The New York Times would be telling us that Ashli Babbitt was beating people to death with a fire extinguisher when she was killed. Thanks to Samuel Montoya, the New York Times can’t claim that.
We’d love to have Montoya on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to describe what he saw that day, but we can’t do that, because he’s in jail. Yesterday, a large group of armed federal agents showed up at his house in Austin. They smashed Montoya’s front door, confiscated his electronic devices and threw him in jail. He’s behind bars right now. What was his crime?
Well, to find out, we read the Biden administration’s arrest warrant application. The FBI says it began investigating Montoya after one of his family members provided “proof that Montoya was physically inside the U.S. Capital near the shooting of a woman on January 6, 2021.” To be clear, Montoya didn’t shoot the woman. He just happened to be nearby.
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But wait a second. Weren’t there plenty of journalists inside the Capitol on Jan. 6? According to CNN, yes there were. CNN ran a piece telling us that, “Congressional reporters became the country’s eyes and ears as rioters stormed Capitol Hill.” So why hasn’t the FBI arrested the people CNN identified in its story — the photographers from Getty, the political reporters from NBC, the congressional correspondents from CNN and the AP?
Well, that’s a good question. The FBI explains why in the warrant affidavit. “At times during the video, Montoya describes himself to others inside the Capitol Building as a ‘reporter’ or ‘journalist’ as he attempts to get through crowds.” And yet, the FBI concludes, “The director of the Congressional press galleries within the Senate Press office did a name check on Samuel Christopher Montoya and confirmed that no one by that name has Congressional press credentials as an individual, or via any other organizations.”
So that’s the standard. If the U.S. Congress’s credentialing office says that you’re not a journalist, you’re not a journalist. Did Samuel Montoya have strong personal political views? Apparently he did. But you may have noticed that’s not so unusual in journalism right now. So why is journalist Samuel Montoya behind bars tonight? Well, he committed a crime? “Interfering with government business.” In other words, trespassing. If this happened in Ukraine, what are the chances NBC News would describe Samuel Montoya as a “dissident journalist,” and then describe Ashli Babbitt an “unarmed pro-democracy demonstrator”? The chances are roughly 100%.
But this is America, and they’re not saying that. Instead they’re telling us that Ashli Babbitt deserved to die.
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JOY REID, MSNBC: She embraced conspiracy theories. Her name was Ashli Babbitt, 35 years old. She tweeted about Pizzagate. She tweeted thousands of tweets to Fox News hosts. She engaged [on] social media with the conspiracy news Internet site Info Wars. In 2020, she began to tweet with QAnon accounts and use QAnon hashtags.
Oh, see, not a pro-democracy demonstrator, not an unarmed military veteran. So she sent tweets to Fox News hosts. No problem. Ashli Babbitt got what she deserved.
What’s amazing is not simply the grotesque cruelty of assessments like that — a young women is shot to death and the media applaud — but what’s more amazing is the contrast between this and the coverage of other violence that’s now in progress.
Tuesday night, Biden voters burned a police building in Portland, Oregon. Did you know that? Probably not, it didn’t get much coverage.
In the wake of Daunte Wright’s death Sunday, riots broke out all over the country, in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Minneapolis.
People were stealing stuff off store shelves, but don’t call it looting. It’s a peaceful demonstration. We know that because the mayor of Brooklyn Center, Mike Elliott, told us so. Tuesday night, Mayor Elliott tweeted a picture of himself on the scene.
“Earlier this evening, I had the opportunity to go talk to these peaceful protesters,” he wrote. “Our city is calm now.”
Here’s the funny thing: the mayor’s wearing a Kevlar helmet in the picture, which was not taken in Syria, but in his own town. That’s how peaceful it is. He was wearing a Kevlar helmet. Whatever else he is, Mike Elliott isn’t a very effective liar.
Others, by contrast, have decided to drop the pretense entirely. BLM leader Bree Newsome no longer talks about “peaceful protests.” She doesn’t want those any more.
“I’m definitely in the camp of defending rioting and looting as a legitimate, politically-informed response to state violence,” she wrote in a tweet that the Twitter censors have pointedly left up.
It goes without saying that Bree Neswsome is a child of privilege. Only privileged people could be that decadent. What’s really striking is that Newsome once committed a more aggressive version of the offense that Samuel Montoya is changed with.
A few years ago, she trespassed at the Capitol in South Carolina and ripped down the flag. She also trespassed in a state lawmaker’s office and refused to leave. Is she rotting in jail? No. She was arrested briefly, then drew praise from no less than Hillary Clinton herself. Hillary endorsed that particular insurrection. But not everyone gets the same treatment, you may have noticed.
That should worry you, no matter who you voted for and no matter how fervently you may support Joe Biden. This is a huge, society-ending problem. Laws have no meaning if they’re not applied equally. When they are not applied equally, they are not even laws. They’re just tools of political persecution. You don’t want to live in a country like that, even if the people you don’t like are the ones being persecuted.
Rashida Tlaib does want to live like that. Tlaib is a member of Congress, so her security is never in doubt. She’s protected by bodyguards, weapons of war, and now thousands of federal troops you’re paying for. She’s fine. But in your neighborhood, she’d like to see the police eliminated.
“No more policing, incarceration, and militarization,” Tlaib wrote on Twitter this week. “It can’t be reformed.” Again, militarization is fine if the military is protecting her. She’s got federal troops. But not for you. You get mob rule. We’re not making this up, we’re not misquoting her. She’s demanding this in public as a member of Congress. Many are.
A character on MSNBC tells us that we must abolish your police department immediately:
JASON JOHNSON: I’ve been saying we need to abolish American policing as it currently exists. It doesn’t work … Do you know the average [number of] homicides that are actually solved by police departments? Only about 35%. You know the number of rapes and sexual assaults that are solved by police departments? Less than 60%. You know the percentage, likelihood of being shot unarmed as a Black person is, like, five times as likely than a White person? Policing doesn’t work the way we’re doing it right now.
A panel of privileged people tell you to abolish the police. But they’re not saying actually abolish the police. We often claim they are, but listen very carefully. They say they want to abolish American policing as it currently exists. And that raises the question: how does policing currently exist?
Here’s how: local communities get to control it. So the cops walking down your street, you hired them. That’s what Rashida Tlaib doesn’t like. That’s what offends MSNBC. The thing they hate about it is that they don’t control it. They can’t use your local police department to punish you for your political views. For that, they have to go to the FBI. It drives them crazy.
Abolishing the police doesn’t mean getting rid of people with guns. It merely and specifically means stripping you of any control over local law enforcement. It’s just a more ambitious form of gun control, meant to disempower the citizenry, not protect them. When your police department answers to them, things will be very different.
To get a sense of how different, take a look at what the Biden administration is doing in the state of Oregon. In the past few days, federal prosecutors have essentially dropped half a dozen federal felony cases that arose from those famous riots in Portland last summer. The feds reached non-prosecution agreements, which ensure that people who committed felonies will walk away with no criminal record of any kind.
What are the defendants in us-regions accused of doing? More than trespassing.
One of them, a woman called Alexandra Eutin, was charged with beating a Portland police officer in the head with a wooden shield while he was trying to make an arrest.
Another defendant, called Alexa Daron Graham, was charged with trying to bring down a police aircraft with a laser pointer.
Now that’s bad, obviously. But it’s not quite as bad as, say, voting for Donald Trump, or walking around the Capitol building with a camera. Alexandra Eutin and Alexa Graham won’t have a criminal record by the end of this. Samuel Montoya could spend the next seven years in jail.
You see what’s going on. Two systems of justice — one for the allies of the people in charge, and a very different one for their enemies. These aren’t traditional liberals. They’re not calling for a peaceful utopia where no one uses violence. This isn’t the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. That was the old liberalism. We used to make fun of it, when it was going on. We could use a lot more of it now. This stuff is scary.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary on the April 14, 2021 edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight”