Should we pretend to be shocked?
Apparently “blue lives” only matter when it’s convenient. Yet another rioter from the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol was discovered to be a member of law enforcement. The Tennessean reports that a 27-year-old sheriff’s deputy named Ronald Colton McAbee was one of the rioters who allegedly assaulted fellow officers during the chaos. He was arrested on August 17 after the FBI received a tip identifying McAbee from body camera footage. The video showed a man dressed in the White Supremacist starter pack with a “Make America Great Again” hat, a tactical vest with a sheriff patch, and the emblem of an anti-government movement called the Three Percenters. Nothing says “audacity” like living off of taxpayer money while plotting to overthrow the government.
According to the statement released by the federal prosecutors, McAbee received charges in connection with seven other people for inflicting bodily injuries to Metropolitan Police Department officers and aiding and abetting. The Tennessean also reported that in the pre-trial motion from the U.S. attorney’s office, they call him a “threat to the peaceful functioning of our community” who needs to be held without bail. The body camera footage allegedly shows him dragging one officer into a violent crowd and attempting to fight another officer who tried to intervene.
If cops like him are willing to square up with fellow officers in broad daylight, what other kinds of violence and corruption was he getting away with when no one was looking? Before starting his job in TN, he worked as a sheriff’s deputy in GA. McAbee was on sick leave for an injury from a car accident the day of the insurrection. Technically, more of our taxpayer money was probably spent on the officers overthrowing the government than protecting it on Jan. 6. On the footage, he reportedly tried to hide behind an injury and the law enforcement patch on his vest when more Metro PD officers approached him after assaulting multiple officers. Prosecutors cited this in the pre-trial motion as “powerful evidence of his lack of regard for legal authority.” So far, 170 of the 570 people arrested in connection with the insurrection were charged for assaulting or obstructing law enforcement.
The only time body camera footage helps hold police accountable seems to be when they were attacking each other during the attempted coup. Can we keep that same energy for all their misconduct?