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New York firefighter charged with setting fire to own home — and blaming it on Black Lives Matter

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Jason Stokes

A New York firefighter was arrested after allegedly setting fire to his own home in an apparent attempt to smear anti-police brutality activists.

Jason Stokes pleaded not guilty Tuesday to arson in connection with the August fire at his house in Endicott, reported WBNG-TV.

A family member said at the time that they believed their home was targeted because of the “Blue Lives Matter” flag flying out front.

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Investigators found the message, “lie with pigs, fry like bacon,” written on some siding outside the burned home.

The slogan apparently referenced an incident from August 2015, when some demonstrators chanted, “pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon,” during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Minnesota State Fair that was widely reported by conservative media.

Pro-police websites blamed the fire at Stokes’ home on “terrorists” associated with the civil rights group.

Prosecutors now believe the 41-year-old Stokes wrote the message to help cover up his crime, although they’re not sure why.

“We don’t need to show a motive, we need to show intent,” said Steve Cornwell, Broome County district attorney.

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Investigators also found multiple gas cans placed throughout the home, which they said appeared to be booby-trapped, but Stokes’ family escaped unharmed and no other injuries were reported.

Cornwell said he was disturbed by the apparent attempt to blame civil rights activists for the fire.

“That statement to me is absolutely despicable,” he said. “It fuels a false narrative when it comes to the work that police officers do.”

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Stokes remains jailed on $10,000 bond.

UPDATE: Endicott firefighter has been released from jail after posting $10K bail


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2020 Election

America is on pace for record-shattering early voter turnout — including in critical states: report

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On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that voters are casting early ballots in numbers on track to set a historic record — including in some critical battleground states.

"Early-voting counts suggest a record level of civic participation before Election Day. The tens of millions of ballots already cast show highly enthusiastic voters are making sure their votes are counted amid a pandemic," said the report.

15.8 million people in battleground states have already voted, and in some states, like Michigan and Wisconsin, more people have voted early so far than did in the entire early voting period of 2016. In North Carolina, meanwhile, 2 million ballots have been cast — more than double the same amount at this point in 2016.

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Pro-Trump activist who claims he’s from the future will represent himself against federal charges for stealing NFL brain scans

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On Tuesday, The Daily Beast's Will Sommer reported that Austin Steinbart — a QAnon activist controversial even within the pro-Trump conspiracy world — plans to act as his own attorney in an upcoming federal criminal case.

Some QAnon news: QAnon figure Austin Steinbart, who goes by the alias "Baby Q" and has claimed to be the leader of QAnon visiting from the future via time travel, just filed to act as his own attorney in a federal felony case. What could go wrong?

— Will Sommer (@willsommer) October 20, 2020

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‘Whiny orange baby’ Trump mocked for his panicked threat to scoop CBS on his own interview meltdown

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On Tuesday, following reports that President Donald Trump stormed out of a "60 Minutes" interview with Lesley Stahl for an unknown reason, the president tweeted that he is considering releasing footage ahead of CBS, to prevent reporters from spinning the "FAKE and BIASED" interview.

Commenters on social media laughed at the president for telegraphing his apparent fear over the content of the exchange.

Lay off the drugs man.

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