Kyle Rittenhouse was just the tip of the alabaster iceberg.
During demonstrations against police brutality, many people peacefully protesting on the ground across the country reported outside agitators destroying property and provoking violent suppression tactics from police. NBC reports one of those instigators, a member of the anti-government Boogaloo Bois movement named Ivan Harrison Hunter pled guilty on Thursday to federal riot charges for shooting at a Minneapolis police station during a protest in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
Video filmed on May 28 shows a man identified as Hunter firing 13 rounds into the Third Precinct police station while protestors were still inside the building. While he opened fire with an AK-47 style semiautomatic rifle, he reportedly yelled “Justice for Floyd!” Hunter, who is from Boerne, Texas, is charged with crossing state lines to participate in a riot. He landed on law enforcement’s radar during a traffic stop in Austin, TX on June 3. The 26-year-old was only a passenger in the pickup truck, which had multiple moving violations. Hunter had six loaded semiautomatic rifle magazines attached to the tactical vest he was wearing. Police found three semi-automatic rifles on the back seat, a loaded pistol in the center console, and another in plain view next to the driver’s seat.
How shady, suspicious, and reckless did they need to be for police to stop a bunch of White men in a pickup truck in Texas? Fascinating how all that firepower and paramilitary gear never led to headlines about those officers fearing for their lives. The Department of Justice didn’t comment on whether any arrests were made for the small army’s worth of weapons discovered during that traffic stop, but Hunter wasn’t worried about getting caught. He had already bragged on social media about busting his guns in Minneapolis, and pinning it on Black protestors was probably icing on the cake.
Days after the traffic stop, federal agents discovered Hunter’s online relationship with Steven Carrillo, another loud and proud member of the Boogaloo Bois, who was charged on May 20 with the murder of a federal protective officer during a George Floyd protest in Oakland, California. Although the movement’s name sounds ridiculous, it’s part of a clever tactic to hide in plain sight by blending into harmless internet chatter and hijacking language and imagery from the Black Lives Matter movement for their own anti-government agenda. Ivan Hunter is one of many examples using protests against racism and police brutality to target both police and innocent Black protestors at the same time. Beneath the memes, these online extremists are working overtime to spark a second civil war.
The judge in Hunter’s case ordered a presentence investigation. Hopefully, that leads to more serious consequences for domestic terrorism than the single riot charge he currently has. Firing a semiautomatic rifle into a building full of people sounds more like attempted mass murder than property damage. Like charges against other anti-government extremists, it seems like a slap on the wrist. The extremists often have military experience and specialized military-grade weapons and equipment that help them blend in with law enforcement during the chaos and violence they’re inciting at protests. It might be easier to identify these dangerous criminals if there weren’t so many members of law enforcement and government enabling their criminal conspiracies.