As protest movements rose across the U.S. in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, President Trump and various right-wing media factions took the unrest that coincided with the protests and used it to create a narrative claiming that it was fueled by left-wing groups such as “antifa.”
But as pro-Trump voices spread that message, newly-leaked documents reveal that law enforcement on the ground knew the most urgent threat of violence was coming from a different source, namely far-right extremists seeking to attack the protesters and police.
“Among the steady stream of threats from the far-right were repeated encounters between law enforcement and heavily armed adherents of the so-called boogaloo movement, which welcomes armed confrontation with cops as means to trigger civil war,” The Intercept’s Ryan Devereaux reports. “With much of the U.S. policing apparatus on the hunt for antifa instigators, those violent aspirations appear to have materialized in a string of targeted attacks in California that left a federal protective services officer and a sheriff’s deputy dead and several other law enforcement officials wounded.”
Speaking to The Intercept, the ACLU’s National Security Project director, Hina Shamsi, said that counterterrorism agencies defined extremism broadly “as to mean virtually anything that encompasses dissent.”
“There are instances in which people engaging in white supremacist violence get the benefit of the doubt as potential lone offenders, while people of color and those who dissent against government injustice are smeared as threats with guilt by association,” Shamsi said.
Read the full report over at The Intercept.