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Washington sheriff backs deputy who said cops need military hardware to fight right-wing extremists

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Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich tried to grapple with the fallout after one of his deputies said something in a video that was picked up and became a viral hit at InfoWars, the website of conspiracy enthusiast Alex Jones. In the video clip, the deputy said military-grade equipment was necessary because of gun-hoarding “constitutionalists” who have made police work dangerous.

The woman interviewing the deputy asked about the need for a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle in America, to which the deputy replied, “We’ve got a lot of constitutionalists and a lot of people that stockpile weapons, lots of ammunition. They have weapons here locally.”

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The InfoWars website jumped on that quote as evidence that there’s a conspiracy by the country’s law enforcement agencies to target Americans who hold conservative views. “Constitutionalist” is how many on the far right — including the majority of InfoWars’ audience — describe themselves. However, as Sheriff Knezovich noted, “people need to understand that there are people who carry that title who have killed police officers.”

As the Sheriff said in his YouTube response to the InfoWars video, his deputy was not referring generally to those who support the Constitution, but to self-described “constitutionalists” like Jerad and Amanda Miller.

“In Las Vegas, after the Bundy [Ranch standoff], two of those people who went down to support Bundy killed two Las Vegas police officers and draped their bodies in the Gadsen [“Don’t Tread on Me”] flag,” he said.

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The Sheriff admitted that “it’s sad and regrettable [that his deputy] chose his words poorly, because he used broad-brush strokes. If you ask people, many of them call me a ‘constitutionalist.’ I wear that title with honor, because I do firmly believe in the Constitution of the United States. If you look at the facts, Washington law enforcement has done more to protect the rights — especially the gun rights — of its citizens than any of these groups decrying the deputy’s comments.”

Republican representative Matthew Shea disagreed, asking “Will law abiding citizens who love the Constitution and Rule of Law be hunted down with MRAPs? Constitutionalism is fundamental to being an American. To hate the Constitution and those who support it means you are a traitor to this country.”

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“This is spitting in the face of all those heroes that fought, bled, and died so we might live free,” he added.

In his YouTube response, Sheriff Knezovich noted that the deputy being questioned in the video is not only himself a military veteran, but has been awarded the Medal of Valor.

“Why [are] only three seconds of that interview being shown by InfoWars?” Sheriff Knezovich also asked. “Since this interview was on December 7th, and InfoWars didn’t reach out until December 12th at 9:39 p.m., is why didn’t they bother to try to take a chance and try contact the Sheriff’s Office during operation hours. They contacted Rep. Matt Shea — so why not talk to the Sheriff before running the story?”

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“Apparently,” Knezovich continued, “It wasn’t that hot of a story if they waited a week” to publish it. “For InfoWars and Alex Jones, this is standing operating procedure — they only give you what fits their agenda.”

Watch Sheriff Knezovich’s entire response to the InfoWars video below.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Fox News contributor: Criminal justice reform not needed because ‘it’s the least racist system in the country’

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Former Assistant U.S. Attorney and Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy insisted on Monday that the U.S. criminal justice system is the "least racist system we have in the country."

McCarthy made the remarks during a Fox News segment about justice reform proposals from Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders to curb incarceration rates and root out institutional racism.

"It's a funny thing, I worked in the justice system for a long time," McCarthy said. "I think it's the least racist system that we have in the country, if that's possible."

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Analyst tells CNBC: Recession will hit US several months before 2020 election

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An analyst told CNBC on Monday that a recession is likely to hit the U.S. just months before the 2020 election.

"The inversion of the yield curve is a great signal that a recession is coming," Guy Lebas of Janney Capital Management explained. "Recessions by their nature are impossible to predict with any confidence but we have a few clues."

Lebas pointed to corporate capital expenditure plans as a sign of economic stress.

"They are hinting somewhere in the early to mid portion of 2020," he said of a possible recession.

Watch the video below from CNBC.

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Orange County teens busted for singing obscure Nazi song while giving Hitler salutes

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Nearly a dozen high school students from Southern California delivered Nazi salutes and sang a Nazi marching song in a video posted on social media.

The video was uploaded to Instagram by one member of the boys’ water polo team at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California, along with lyrics to the song played for German troops during World War II, reported The Daily Beast.

A spokesperson for the Garden Grove Unified School District told the website administrators learned of the incident in March, four months after the video was posted, but declined to say whether any of the students were disciplined.

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