We first noticed Marine Sgt. Charles Dyer, aka “July4Patriot,” back in March, when we ran one of the first reports on the “Oath Keepers” bloc of the Tea Party movement — an organization devoted to recruiting military and police-force veterans into a Patriot-movement belief system predicated on a series of paranoid conspiracy theories, especially the notion that the federal government intends to begin rounding up citizens and putting them in concentration camps.
Dyer played a prominent role in connecting the Oath Keepers to the Tea Party movement, speaking at a July 4 Tea Party rally in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. And he’s been involved in organizing militia “maneuvers” in Oklahoma.
Dyer cropped up again in the news — this time in the police blotter for allegedly raping a 7-year-old girl:
An ex-military man has been arrested on charges of rape of a child and forcible sodomy.
Charles Alan Dyer, 29, of Marlow, was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Stephens County Sheriff’s deputies, said Sheriff Wayne McKinney. Dyer served in the United States Marines in Iraq.
Oh, and guess what police found when they searched his home:
During the search the sheriff’s deputies noted several firearms and a device believed to be a Colt M-203, 40-millimeter grenade launcher, a complaint filed in the United States District Court of Western Oklahoma by Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco Special Agent Brett Williams said.
As the story from KAUZ-TV notes, Dyer had a history of making bizarre claims in his videos — as well as violent fears of being arrested.
“We come home and those bastards want to talk about how we’re domestic terrorists and a threat to this country. It makes me so angry,” said Charles Dyer, who has been accused of committing rape.
… More incriminating evidence against Dyer has surfaced in a YouTube video. The video shows Dyer, a former U.S. Marine, talking proudly about domestic terrorism. “Join the military?”, said Dyer. “Depends on what you want to do with it. Me? I’m going to use my training and become one of those domestic terrorists that you’re so afraid of from the DHS reports.”
… “I’m certainly not going to be hiding from my command anymore. I’m not hiding from ATF. Not hiding from FBI. Any organization. If they want to come get me I’m not going to be afraid,” Dyer said.
“Patriots, we are not overpowered. If we united under one banner and fight for our children’s liberity and the constitution, our resolve is invincible to any standing army,” Dyer said.
The rape victim was a close family member. They also report that Dyer had been in touch with a fellow militiaman linked to explosives dealing, and that when bomb-sniffing dogs searched Dyer’s home, they indicated explosives had been stored there recently.
Meanwhile, unsurprisingly, the folks at American Resistance Movement — a group Dyer was also prominently involved in — are claiming that Dyer was set up, and the girl who accused him was “programmed” to do so. Accordingly, they’ve set up a “Free July4Patriot” fund, with a little button on their front page so you can donate.
Also, Dyer’s YouTube page remains active.
Every movement attracts its freaks. But the Patriot movement attracts an inordinate number of them — and particularly people with a pedophilia problem. (I can list at least 10 different prominent figures in the Northwest’s Patriot movement in the 1990s who had a history of being charged with abusing and abducting children.) Evidently, being a pedophile leads to resentment of the government — probably for its desire to lock you away.
We’ll reserve judgment on Dyer’s guilt or innocence for after the trial. But let’s just say that the predictable claims that he’s been arrested as part of a government plot to silence him are not exactly compelling in this case.[Thanks to Susie for her help with this post.]
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes’ wife alleges widespread abuse in petition for restraining order By Ryan Lenz
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes faces allegations of abuse and household violence in a motion for a temporary restraining order his wife filed last month with a Montana court.
Stewart Rhodes, the head of the antigovernment Oath Keepers, will frequently threaten himself and his family with a weapon he always carries, and he has a history of violent outbursts against his family, including an incident in 2016 when he choked his teenage daughter by the throat.
That history was outlined in a sworn petition Rhodes’ wife, Tasha Vonn Adams Rhodes, filed last month in a Lincoln County, Montana, court room asking for a temporary protective order against her husband. Hatewatch obtained a copy of the petition on Thursday.
Vonn Adams Rhodes claims in the filing that the most recent incident involving her husband occurred last November at the family home in Trego, a far-northern Montana town where Rhodes lives with his wife and four of their six children.
“Whenever [Stewart Rhodes] is unhappy with my behavior (say I want to leave the house — he doesn’t like me to leave) he will draw his handgun (which he always wears), rack the slide, wave it around, and then point it at his own head, telling me my behavior has caused this,” Vonn Adams Rhodes wrote in the petition, which was filed on February 20. “I filed for divorce a few days ago and am terrified.”
While the order was denied and no hearing was scheduled, the hand-written petition outlines a terrifying pattern of threats and encounters. And Vonn Adams Rhodes’ concerns are not without merit. Surveys conducted by gun awareness groups like the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund have found that domestic violence in a home where a gun is present is five times more likely to end with a woman being killed.
In a section on the petition labeled “Past Abuse,” Vonn Adams Rhodes wrote.
In summer 2016 grabbed my teenager daughter by the throat until stopped by my son. In 2013, pointed a loaded, chambered handgun at his own head. In 2016 did this again but this time with much more gun waving and more angry words before he eventually pointed at his head. Also did this three more times, each time increasing the threat level to me, by waving the gun around a little more each time before claiming he was suicidal.
Also, after a dispute with a neighbor, whenever [Rhodes] drives passed [sic] their yard he unholsters his handgun and points through the car door at their house, despite the fact that some of our children are often in and out of their house.
A telephone message left Thursday at the family’s home seeking comment was not returned.
Allegations of Rhodes’ erratic and violent behavior centers on a period of expansive growth in the antigovernment movement, and his efforts to build the Oath Keepers by capitalizing on wide-ranging conspiracy theories during the Obama administration. It was also during that time that the Oath Keepers, which Rhodes began in 2009, became a widely recognized group on the radical right especially after 2014, when militias including the Oath Keepers flocked to Nevada to help embattled cattle rancher Cliven Bundy.
In her petition, Vonn Adams Rhodes goes on to describe that she has felt threatened by Rhodes on numerous occasions, especially when he begins “waving around [a] handgun, threatening himself while yelling and screaming at me to treat him better.”
D.C. Police and the Feds Partner With Hard Right to Convict Trump Protesters By Steven Rosenfeld
Washington, D.C., police and federal prosecutors have been collaborating with notorious right-wing groups known for fascist statements and using doctored videos to ambush their targets in an attempt to convict and jail protesters from President Trump’s inauguration.
The question is not whether the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., are working with Oath Keepers, a group of cops and veterans with rabid anti-government views, and Project Veritas, a far-right group known for fabricating accounts to ambush the media and the political left.
The question is, how deep is the relationship between the police, federal prosecutors and these extremists? And in MPD’s case, are Washington police breaking the law, as its city council has passed laws barring them from spying on protesters or protest groups?
“It’s extraordinarily dangerous for prosecutors and police to be accepting information and evidence from politically motivated organizations that are intending to work against their political opponents,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director and constitutional rights attorney with the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. “That’s not how they’re supposed to operate.”
“So when the U.S. Attorney’s Office takes video from the widely discredited Project Veritas, in fact, edited video, and submits it into evidence in an effort to prosecute protesters and put them away for decades in prison, it is critically important that the public has an opportunity to see what’s going on behind those scenes, and to know what the relationships are that the Metropolitan Police Department, the D.C. police department, or any police department, has with right-wing organizations,” she said. “They simply can’t be working in collaboration.”
“What we are trying to get at is the nature and extent of the relationship, of the D.C. police department working with Project Veritas, Oath Keepers and other entities,” Verheyden-Hilliard said. “We know for a fact that the police department worked with Project Veritas, obtaining edited video that group created when it infiltrated organizations that were planning protests for [President] Trump’s inauguration. And in fact, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., introduced that video in their failed prosecution of six people caught in that dragnet arrest on January 20. There are still dozens of cases pending. But in the initial round, they tried to prosecute six people for having been in proximity to a demonstration, where other people are alleged to have engaged in acts of property damage at other locations and times separate from the location and time of the arrest.”
Astoundingly, federal prosecutors introduced the doctored video evidence made by Project Veritas the same week the Washington Post reported that the group had tried to bait the paper with a fabricated account by a fellow right-winger who accused Alabama Republican Roy Moore—then a U.S. Senate candidate—of sexual harassment. (Moore has been accused by a series of women, first reported by the Post.)
“So they did introduce this video into evidence” to try to convict six protesters from Trump’s inauguration, Verheyden-Hilliard said. “It was created by Project Veritas. The police also were given video that they used, and the U.S. Attorney’s office used, from the right-wing militia Oath Keepers. When they introduced that video in court, it was the exact same week that Project Veritas was exposed for trying to plant a fake story in the Washington Post. So we immediately filed a FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] demand, seeking records showing the nature of the police department and its officers and Project Veritas, Oath Keepers and any other private entity that is providing intelligence information to the MPD. And they refused to respond to that request. We have even had followup inquiry and they are absolutely silent. They will not respond, so we sued them for the documents.”
There is a long history of police working with right-wing groups to subvert the organizing and speech rights of social justice groups. On Friday, the Guardian reported police in California were working with white supremacists before June 2016 anti-fascist protests in Sacramento, the state capital, to target protesters for arrest. That wasn’t the only example cited, either. “At an Oregon ‘alt-right’ event, police allowed a member of a right-wing militia-style group to help officers arrest an anti-fascist activist,” it reported. “Police in Charlottesville were widely accused of standing by as Nazis attacked protesters, and a black man who was badly beaten by white supremacists was later charged with a felony.”
A generation ago, the San Francisco Police Department was caught working with the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, a Jewish civil rights group, to “spy, harass and intimidate” pro-Palestine activists, as the New York Times reported in 1993. But one big difference between the California state police and the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington is that the District of Columbia’s city council has explicitly passed laws barring the city’s police from spying on and framing protesters.
That law came after the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund sued the city after anti-globalization protests more than a dozen years ago.
“We have information showing during the anti-globalization movement that police agencies in both Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia were readily obtaining and using politically created false information by right-wing organizations. It’s very dangerous,” Verheyden-Hilliard said. “But in Washington, D.C., we put these restrictions in place under the law. So there’s a key component here, which is, the police are actually barred by law—there are restrictions on their surveillance of political protest groups. And we are very concerned that they are actually trying to outsource that by working with these right-wing organizations to do what the police are barred by law from doing. But, in our view, that would still be illegal. We don’t think that they can actually work as a proxy.”
It’s chilling to recall what the capital’s police did a dozen years ago, and to ponder who they’re partnering with today to apparently evade restrictions on that behavior.
“We found that the D.C. police were sending agent provocateurs into peaceful organizing meetings, encouraging people to undertake acts of violence, which were rejected,” Verheyden-Hilliard said. “We found that they were sending cops on long-term assignment pretending to be social justice activists. They were going into people’s homes. They were participating in their meetings in an active capacity. And when we were finally able to bring this to light, after some years of litigation, there were laws put into place to make it clear that the police could not conduct themselves in those ways.”
But some police departments are conducting themselves in that manner—and not just in Washington.
“It is shocking and really angering to see the level of collusion and the amount to which the police covered up for the [neo-]Nazis,” Yvette Felarca, “a Berkeley teacher and anti-fascist organizer charged with assault and rioting after participating in the June 2016 Sacramento rally, where she said she was stabbed and bludgeoned in the head,” told the Guardian. “The people who were victimized by the [neo-]Nazis were then victimized by the police and the district attorneys.”
While this police tactic is not new, Verheyden-Hilliard said Trump has given extremists in police ranks his blessing to go after the political left.
“With Trump taking over the presidency, and his comments before and after, he made it clear that he’s giving a green light to the police to act against social justice demonstrators,” she said. “He has heralded police brutality as an acceptable form of policing. And I think he has certainly sent a message to police forces and to anyone inside those police forces who has an affinity for any of these right-wing organizations that it’s completely acceptable to act on their views in the context of policing. We can see with Charlottesville real questionable police conduct; their failure to act against white supremacists and neo-Nazi demonstrators, while simultaneously acting against social justice demonstrators.”
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