It seems as though some politicians have decided that if they can’t control rioters, they can just throw money their way. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has one such story:
A renowned Antifa militant who publicly celebrates attacks on law enforcement is getting a cash settlement from a big U.S. city after claiming in a federal lawsuit that his civil rights were violated during a violent protest with his fellow extremists. The incident occurred in August 2018 when hundreds of radical leftists, including masked Antifa militants, confronted police and conservatives in downtown Portland, Oregon. Rowdy demonstrators used pepper spray against police and threw fireworks, bottles, rocks and ball bearings, according to a local news report. Videos of police in riot gear are embedded in the story, which says that protestors were armed with knives, traded blows and drew blood.
Among the rioters was a 31-year-old Antifa leader named James Mathew Mattox who praises cop killers on social media. Mattox was dressed in black bloc and a mask during the event and carried a shield with an anarchist symbol. Mattox provoked officers when they tried to disperse rioters by flipping them off, waving his shield and arms in the air and yelling profanities. When an officer shot a rubber bullet, Mattox taunted him for missing his left thigh before a second rubber bullet hit him in the right arm. This caused a “large gash,” according to his federal court complain that includes other Portland-area Antifa rioters as plaintiffs. Mattox and his radical pals allege their civil rights were violated and he claims he suffered sharp pain, insomnia and limitations in functioning and movement for weeks. He was unable to return to work for over a week due to the seriousness of his injuries, according to the lawsuit. “In addition to the financial costs of having his injuries treated and missing work, Mr. Mattox suffered from the physical and emotional pain of having been subjected to extreme police violence,” the complaint states. “Mr. Mattox experienced depression and the lasting effects of trauma from extreme police violence.”
This month the Portland City Council agreed to pay Mattox $23,000 to settle the case while a conservative journalist uncovered disturbing social media posts written by the Antifa activist. Using the alias of a prominent Communist Party member (Jack Johnstone), Mattox’s social media outbursts express support for terrorist attacks on law enforcement. He specifically names three renowned cop killers— Christopher Jordan Dornere, Micah Xavier Johnson and Gavin Eugene Long—as his “personal heroes.” In 2013 Dorner killed four police officers and injured three in southern California. Johnson, a member of the New Black Panther Party, killed five Dallas cops at a Black Lives Matter protest in 2016. That same year, Long, a black separatist, killed three police officers and shot three others in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Nevertheless, in his lawsuit against the city of Portland and its police department Mattox asserts that he “posed no threat of violence,” despite his documented history of glorifying it against law enforcement officers. It is also worth mentioning that various news reports have confirmed Mattox has been arrested several times during violent Antifa protests in Portland. Now taxpayers in the city of about 655,000 are being forced to give him money because elected officials will not stand up to him.
Antifa protests are notoriously violent and can cause lots of damage in the cities targeted by the movement. During President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, Antifa militants broke store windows, set a limousine on fire and caused thousands of dollars in damage to businesses in downtown Washington D.C. Hundreds were charged with felony rioting. Counterterrorism experts at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are increasingly concerned about violence perpetrated by Antifa supporters at public rallies where they confront their ideological opponents, the Congressional Research Service writes in a 2018 report. In Congressional testimony a few years ago, FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed that the agency was pursuing a number of anarchist extremist investigations in which the subjects are motivated to commit violent criminal activity based on Antifa ideology.
Judicial Watch has successfully gone after one of the movement’s most popular figures, a national organizer for a radical leftist group called By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) which was founded by the Marxist Revolutionary Workers League and uses raucous militant tactics to disrupt conservative speaking engagements. Among its prominent figures is a California public school teacher, Yvette Felarca, well known for her violent Antifa activism. In 2016 the educator and two of her radical pals were arrested and charged with several crimes, including felony assault, for inciting a riot in Sacramento. Felarca was captured on video calling a man a Nazi and punching him in the stomach repeatedly while shouting obscenities at him. More than a dozen people were injured in the riot, at least 10 with stab wounds, and the capitol grounds suffered thousands of dollars in property damage. In 2017 Judicial Watch filed a California Public Records Act request seeking records about Felarca’s Antifa activism and its effect on the Berkeley Unified School District that employs her. She sued to stop the school district from furnishing the records and a federal judge determined that it was an entirely frivolous lawsuit and ordered her to pay Judicial Watch’s legal fees.
How does rewarding criminals make us any safer?