Thursday, August 27, 2015

Dispatch From Lincoln: ‘Patriots’ Lost in the Haze at Contested Montana Mine Site

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

The dense haze that hung over Lincoln, Mont., last week was a perfect physical metaphor for the status of the antigovernment extremists who recently descended upon the town.

But in yet another pseudo-showdown with federal lands officials orchestrated by the “Oath Keepers” and their militia-minded associates, the militiamen were basically nowhere to be seen – hunkered back at the mine site, 12 miles east of town on winding and largely inaccessible dirt roads, or hanging out at the local motels and little else.

Out  of sight, out of mind, and out of everyone’s hair.

The haze itself was part of the reason that the ongoing presence of a corps of well-armed far-right militiamen quickly receded from memory. It is fire season in Montana, and this season in particular has turned into a nightmarish one, with so many fires here and elsewhere in the Northwest that the entire region has been blanketed in a smoke haze so dense that it obscures the normally scenic hillsides and mountains entirely, and leaves everyone coughing and smelling of campfires.

Just a mile south of Lincoln, the U.S. Forest Service has set up its “Fire Camp” filled with personnel numbering in the low hundreds to handle several large fires that have erupted in the dense forests around Lincoln, a tiny logging town just a little south of the immense Bob Marshall Wilderness in western Montana. This week, what’s on everyone’s mind is the very real job of keeping the whole place from going up in flames. Though there are still “Oath Keepers” and “III Percenters” in town, it seems they are yesterday’s joke to people in Lincoln.

“I haven’t seen them around much this week,” a waitress told me. “Guess they’re keeping their heads down now.”

It was not that way at the start, when the armed militiamen arrived in Lincoln in mid-August and began parading their weapons about town, sometimes walking down the town’s main strip – Montana Highway 200, a connector road for Missoula and Great Falls – with the AR-15s strapped to their backs in the style of “open carry” advocates.

That upset a lot of locals in this arch-conservative corner of a fairly red state – nearly all of whom own some kind of gun or another, but consider brandishing a gun for its own sake a kind of foolishness.

“Unless it’s hunting season, when everyone has them out, nobody around here walks around with a rifle on display,” a local construction worker told me. “It’s almost rude or something. Like: ‘What do you need that for?’ It’s not necessary, so why do it?”

It also upset a number of people working on a local job site – namely, the large reclamation project under way at Mike Horse Dam, on property directly adjacent to the White Hope Mine where the militiamen are encamped east of town, on a mine site owned by George Kornec and Phil Nappo.  The project, which is overseen by the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), uses the same road as that being used by the Oath Keepers to traipse up to the mine site, but with large earth-moving vehicles that can’t always brake suddenly. Fears about an accident on the narrow dirt roads were well grounded.

A town meeting was held at one point, giving locals a chance to understand why these “Patriots” considered it necessary to be brandishing their guns in protest of people most people in Lincoln considered their neighbors (the USFS is a major employer in the little town) and whether they were going to be careering around the local dirt backroads at the same time as big gravel trucks.

“We are not here to wreak havoc for this city or this county or this state, but we are here to ensure that (miners) Phil and George get their time in court,” said Joseph Santoro, the Army retiree whose video posted at the Oath Keepers website was the first national “call to arms” for Patriots to come to Montana.

“We are not thugs. We are not criminals. We ensure that the people we bring here into your community have been thoroughly vetted. If they are any type of a lunatic fringe, I swear to you they aren’t coming here,” Santoro said.

The mine owners and their supporters eventually worked out a schedule with the DEQ project’s officials to only use the roads during times when the trucks would not be on them, leaving the antigvoernment crew mostly stuck in place at the encampment once working hours began and only relenting when the day was done.

A DEQ project manager told Hatewatch that three days after reaching that deal, a group of militiamen came through the construction site during midday hours in violation of the deal: “Fortunately, my guys were on their toes and nobody got hurt,” she said. The incident spurred further promises to stay off the roads during work hours, and so far, she said, those promises have been kept.

Townfolk say three or four different shifts of campers have come and gone at the mine, with a crew of “III Percenters” from Idaho being the most persistent presence. Initially, a crew of militiamen from Oregon who had been involved in the earlier attempted “showdown” over a silver mine on federal land near Grants Pass was heavily involved in organizing the Lincoln affair, but by late August they had mostly gone back home.

Several reporters have attempted to approach the operation and have been severely rebuffed. Marshall Swearingen, writing for the High Country News, was able to arrange an escort through the DEQ job site, but was rebuffed by the guardsmen he met at the gate to the mine site.

“The operatives forcefully tell me to not take photos,” he wrote. “They will not tell me their names. The man with the angry stare has a radio, and it crackles to life. He answers with a radio handle of ‘Warthog,’ or maybe War Hog — he won't say.

Similarly, Rebecca Schoenkopf, a reporter for Wonkette, was unable to make it past the motel room used by the militiamen as a gathering point. The “Patriot” code-named “Mouse” who greeted her and her husband turned hostile when they identified themselves as liberals and began stonewalling them harshly: “I’m not talking to you. I want your word you won’t write anything that happened in here.”

He concluded the interview: “This did not happen. If you write down anything I said in here, I will call you a liar.”

The dispute over the Montana mine dates back years, to a court hearing in which Kornec lost his original 1872-mining-law-based surface rights to the mine. Kornec is something of a celebrated hermit, though in Lincoln – which is still trying to recover its reputation from its most infamous resident, Ted Kacynski – that is not necessarily an admirable thing.

The presence of an armed threat in the dispute is as strangely detached from the realities of mining on federal land as was the case in Grants Pass, where the mine owners were claiming that the Bureau of Land Management was threatening to burn down their operation, while in fact the dispute was still very much in the paper phase and undergoing adjudication. The Oath Keepers and their cohorts there, in fact, rolled up their camp and declared victory simply upon receiving a judicial hearing for their appeal – a hearing that had long been scheduled before the “showdown.”

On Aug. 11, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the mine owners over the dispute, thereby guaranteeing that Kornec and Natto would get their day in court. And indeed, the Oath Keepers declared victory by having the lawsuit filed against their friends – but then also vowed to remain in Montana until the miners receive their first day in court, too.

"We will continue to remain vigilant and on site and make sure what we achieved yesterday is upheld," spokesman Chris McIntire, a leader of the Idaho contingent, told reporters.

So far, the encampment has remained calm and free of incident – unlike in Oregon, when a report of a mysterious helicopter sparked a short-lived panic in the Patriot encampment and had truckloads of men bristling with weaponry prowling the roads near the mine.

The nearby forest fires, the large Forest Service camp, and the thick haze all put a particular damper on the heated rhetoric that rolled into town along with the armed Patriots, much of it anger directed at the federal government. That kind of talk sounded hollow and ill-tempered at a time when people in western Montana were being reminded that the objects of this antigovernment animus were also their neighbors – in fact, were the very neighbors everyone was depending upon to keep their homes and their livelihoods intact, even as it seemed as if the whole state were afire.

A columnist for the nearby Helena newspaper noted that a commenter on its reportage of the Lincoln standoff caught the gist of the general sentiment there.

“Might as well inform you that my family is ranching and we are certainly NOT a militia, or training anyone in weapons handling. And when we are mad at the Forest Service or BLM, we go see them or ask them to come out and we can talk. That's how Montanans are known for solving things. ...

"Those public servants are our neighbors -- they buy groceries where we do and go to church with us. Our kids are in school together. They are Montanans.

"They are not my enemy."

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

‘Patriots’ Heed ‘Call to Action’ to ‘Protect’ Montana Mine from a Baffled U.S. Forest Service

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

The Oath Keepers have shown up in the tiny western Montana town of Lincoln, answering a “call to action” issued earlier this month to protect the “constitutional rights” of a local mine owner in a dispute with the federal government.

The “call to action” was issued on Aug. 4 by a Montana Oath Keepers leader, Joseph Santoro, in a YouTube video and on the Oath Keepers national website.

“Pacific Patriot Network under the leadership of the Oath Keepers has set up a security mission to protect the White Hope Mine and related claims in Lewis & Clark County, MT,” the announcement read. “The immediate aim of this operation is to act as a buffer between the miners and any unlawful action by the United States Forest Service (USFS).”

That fight the Oath Keepers have promised has a familiar ring to it.

Just as the Oath Keepers and others claimed ahead of a protest and gathering of militiamen in nearby Medford, Ore., the Oath Keepers and III percenters claimed they were there to protect the “constitutional rights” of a local mine owner in a dispute with the Bureau of Land Management.

Strangely, even as the matter was being adjudicated in the normal process for such disputes, the mine owners claimed their rights were being violated. They claimed they were at risk of being burned out of their mine.

In Oregon, BLM officials were unsure how to respond to the accusations of usurping the Constitution. Likewise, Forest Service officials in the regional Montana offices are searching for what might have summoned the Oath Keepers.

“These are a couple of guys who have been working this claim for a couple of decades,” David Smith, regional spokesman for the Forest Service, told Hatewatch. “They had an operating plan that expired last year, and we’ve been working with them to get a new one approved. And they also had a couple of compliance issues that we were working with them to resolve. … They were agreeable to our suggestions.”

Smith said the “call to action” came out of the blue.

“We’ve been in a relationship with them for a long time, and we wanted to make clear we wanted to work with them to get them up and running so they can exercise their rights to mine that claim in accordance with the law,” he said.

The Missoulian explained that the dispute dates back to previous paper transactions regarding the claim, including a change of jurisdiction from 1872 mining laws to a newer federal law passed in 1955. The mine owners claim they fall under the previous jurisdiction, in spite of previous court rulings.

”We are grandfathered from the 1874 mining laws and that means we're under state law,” mine owner George Kornec told reporters. “And this is what it’s all about, that's why I’m standing up.”

At the center of the dispute is a new building erected on the site, and how to get their plan into compliance with federal laws with the building included.

“We have never said or planned to remove that structure that they built,” Smith told Hatewatch. “What we have said is, how do you justify having that structure within your operating plan? We have not ever said that we would come in and remove the structure itself.”

Another concern that officials have involves a Department of Environmental Quality mine-reclamation project next door to the White Hope Mine, and trucks and other traffic coming to and from that site are using the roadways heavily. “Our concern right now is we don’t want people coming in back and forth on that road and interfering with the contractors using it. Safety is a huge concern there. There are 40 people employed by that construction project,” Smith said.

The ruling on whether it was handled under 1872 or 1955 law came from the courts, Smith said. “We just have the obligation to enforce the law according to that ruling.”

Smith added that the case is not involved in litigation or adjudication at any level, so there’s no forthcoming “day in court” that might signal an end to the armed protest at the mine, as it did in Oregon.

“Obviously, we’re not in a confrontation,” he said. “It’s not the people who are there I’m worried about – it’s the ones from the fringe who want to join in. And I’m worried about the safety of the people up there. We don’t want to see things escalate, especially over an issue that we have been working all along in a very cooperative way to resolve.”

Monday, August 03, 2015

Antigovernment ‘Patriots’ Show Up At Military Recruiting Centers Nationwide to ‘Protect the Protecters’

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

Responding to a nationwide call to arms issued by the leadership of the Oath Keepers, scores of antigovernment “Patriots” have begun showing up fully armed and prepared to guard military recruiting offices across the United States – and some continue to do so.

Mind you, they are doing so in defiance of the Marine Corps’ expressed request to stay away, and the Army’s declaration that they represented a security threat. Already, one of the wannabe guards got himself in trouble by accidentally firing a round into the public parking lot. The guards claimed they were inspired to participate in “Operation Protect the Protecters,” the latest Oath Keepers activity, following the July 16 attack on a recruiting office in Chattanooga, TN, that left four Marines dead.

The extremists who responded to the “national call to action” cited the attack – and reports explaining that these offices are not permitted by military regulation to arm themselves – as part of their reasoning for standing outside strip malls and other small office buildings.

Participants included not just Oath Keepers but other Patriot movement followers, including so-called “III Percenters” who showed up in Idaho, Oregon and Ohio. According to the Associated Press, there were watches in Spanaway, Wash., Hiram, Ga., Madison, Wis., McAllen, Texas; Auburn Hills, Mich.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and several locations in Tennessee.

Local media coverage found additional recruiting center watches in Lancaster and in Ontario, Ohio; in Boise, Idaho; in Bend, Ore.; in Greensville, S.C.; in Farmington, Mo.; and in Morristown, N.Y.
It was in Lancaster that one of the participants accidentally fired off a round from a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle he was toting as “protection” for the military recruiters. Police said no one was hurt, but they cited Christopher Reed, 28, for discharging his weapon within city limits.

According to the police report, Reed was trying to clear his weapon of the round he had chambered before having someone look at the gun when it discharged into the pavement nearby.

Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes quickly waved off any responsibility, claiming that Reed wasn’t a member: “Thankfully, not one of ours,” he said in an article posted to the group's website. “Good intentions on the part of volunteers are not enough, because we all know where the road paved with them leads,” the article mused.

Military officials made clear they wished to have nothing to do with these “operations.” A statement issued by the U.S. Marine Corps recruiting station in San Diego said:
It has come to our attention that many patriotic citizens have been standing armed guard outside recruiting stations across the country. While we greatly appreciate the support of the American public during this tragedy, we ask that citizens do not stand guard at our recruiting offices. Our continued public trust lies among our trained first responders for the safety of the communities where we live and work.
According to Stars and Stripes, the Army advised its recruiters to treat these pop-up guardsmen as a security threat: “Soldiers should avoid anyone standing outside the recruiting centers attempting to offer protection and report them to local law enforcement and the command if they feel threatened, according to a U.S. Army Recruiting Command policy letter issued Monday.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rural Texas Town Freaks Out About Plans to Locate Muslim Cemetery There

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

Hysteria over a Muslim community’s plans to place a cemetery in a small rural Texas town has reached such heights that residents are proclaiming that burials would likely contaminate the town’s drinking water — leading one resident to recommend that the site be contaminated with the blood and heads of pigs.

The residents of Farmersville, Texas — located about 40 miles northeast of Dallas — recently descended upon the town council to demand that city fathers put a stop to a request from the Islamic Association of Collin County to turn a 35-acre open tract into a Muslim cemetery. The request was filed because the region’s Muslims face a shortage of cemetery space for members of their faith.

The meeting was replete with fears that the plan is mere cover for more nefarious purposes.

“It is my duty and my right to warn when there is a danger,” said one resident. “They’re at war with us,” said another. “It’s gonna kill Farmersville,” warned yet another.

A local pastor, David J. Meeks, told the Dallas Morning News that residents fear an expanded Muslim presence in their town. “How can we stop a mosque or madrassa from going in there?” he asked. “The concern for us is the radical element of Islam.”

But the wildest charges came from people claiming that they were concerned the cemetery would contaminate the city’s water supply.

“When somebody dies, they bury them at that time,” Farmersville resident Troy Gosnell told KTVT-TV. “You don’t know whether they were shot, diseased or anything else. All they do is wrap them in a sheet, throw them in the grave and bury them.”

Another resident claimed that this was part of a plot to poison the town’s water supply. “Their bodies are generally above the water,” she explained. “We get rain, it’s going to be in our drinking system.”
An elderly resident proposed a plan of attack for locals to dissuade the Muslims from seeking the land: “Take and dump pigs’ blood and [plant] pigs’ heads on a post,” he said, “and they won’t buy the land.”

In reality, Muslim Americans use coffins and vaults to bury their dead. Khalil Abdur-Rashid, a spokesman for the Islamic association, said misinformation was behind the criticism. He contended that the plans for the cemetery have more to do with “human dignity” than religion.

“Some thought it was a mosque going to be built, others thought it was a training ground,” Abdur-Rashid told WFAA-TV. “We want to be very clear that this is a cemetery.”

“They are fearful of what they don’t understand and hopefully it’s an opportunity for us to come together and learn a little bit more about each other and hopefully dispel some of those misconceptions,” said Alia Salem with the Dallas-Forth Worth chapter of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) Texas.

Of course, such irrational behavior related to Islamophobic hysteria isn’t confined to rural Texas. Recently a Florida gun shop owner announced via YouTube video that he was declaring his store a “Muslim-free zone” as a way of preventing terrorism.

CAIR officials in Florida noted that such a declaration violated state law, and the organization would be requesting an investigation.

“I invite Andy, the gun shop owner, to come and break bread with us, to get to know us as his fellow Americans. As his neighbors. We might be his doctor, his police officer, his firefighter. That’s what the American-Muslim community is. And I think he should get to know us, and not let fear and hatred divide us as Americans,” said Hassan Shibly of CAIR Florida.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Texas Border-Militia ‘Camp Rusty’ Calls It Quits: ‘It Wasn’t That Great’

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

Back when it was bustling with militiaman volunteers eager to stop immigrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, they called Cuban “Rusty” Monsees’ rural property outside of Brownsville, Texas, “Camp LoneStar.”

But as the sheen faded – and the arrests of participants at the camp mounted – the encampment of “Patriots” began to dwindle to almost nothing, and it gradually came to just be dubbed “Camp Rusty.”

Monsees recently announced that the property is now up for sale. He reflected on the changes with a reporter for KRGV-TV.

“Some of the stuff that was taking place, it wasn’t that great,” Monsees admitted.

The encampment first made news in Texas a year ago by attracting number of armed militiamen from around the rest of the nation to the little spot on the Rio Grande where participants could go rambling on “missions” running reconnaissance on border-crossing activities.

At times, the gun-toting militiamen even detained border crossers they caught – cuffing them with plastic ties and guarding them with weapons until Border Patrol arrived to take them away – while at other times they would chase people swimming over the Rio Grande back across the river.

Then participants began having run-ins with the law. First, a Border Patrol officer took shots at one of the militiamen while pursuing a border-crossing fugitive. Then it emerged that the man who had been shot at, who was carrying a weapon at the time of the incident, was a felon prohibited from possessing firearms. And so, it then emerged, was Kevin C. “K.C.” Massey III, the ostensible “commander” of Camp LoneStar, who was with the militiamen at the time and whose background check revealed a similar felony conviction.

Both men were charged with felony weapons violations and currently await trial in federal court in Texas.

Monsees, a longtime Brownsville-area rancher, explained to reporters at the time that he invited the militiamen to come to his property and set up camp there because he was concerned about “security” on his border ranch. But he told the KRGV reporter that he regretted the whole business now.

“They jeopardized my safety and some other people’s safety by what they were doing,” Monsees said.

He said he had made mistakes about who could participate. “Number one because I misread some of the people,” he said. “I found out that there were people here that I didn’t do far enough of a background check on. That’s a regret that I have.”

Some neighbors told KRGV that they appreciated having the “Patriots” gathered in their vicinity. But other reporters had earlier found a number of neighbors who found their presence intimidating and fear-inducing.

“We don’t know who these people are. They’re carrying high-powered weapons. It makes us feel less safe, not more safe to have them here,” one of them said. “I just hope they leave soon.”

That wish has been granted.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Right-Wing Sites Snookered by Fake Stories About SPLC Hate Group Designations

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

The headlines — widely circulated on social media and a variety of right-wing websites — certainly are attention-grabbing: “Fox News Designated Hate Group by Southern Poverty Law Center” and “Juggalos Classified As Hate Group By Southern Poverty Law Center.” And many of the posts promoting the pieces on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere clearly seem to take them at face value.

There’s a big problem, though: The stories are complete fakes.

The Fox News piece was published earlier this week at a satirical “news” site called the Free Wood Post, where the motto is: “News That’s Almost Reliable.” The post contained no links to any such SPLC report because, of course, none existed.

That didn’t stop the Free Wood Post from doing its thing. “Their hatred was tolerated for a long time as freedom of expression,” the site said dramatically of the news channel, “which they are still free to do, however, the time has come to no longer ignore their obvious bigotry broadcast to millions of like-minded folks, and label them what they are — a hate group.”
Needless to say, Fox News has never come under consideration for hate-group status by the SPLC, nor is it ever likely to. A news channel, by definition, includes many voices with many different opinions — even if those displayed on Fox are virtually all conservative — and so it is fundamentally different from a group whose members all sign on to the same ideology. Nonetheless, by Thursday, the post about Fox News had garnered over 30,000 shares on Facebook.

You’d think folks might have figured out that the story was a spoof. After all, the site carries a pretty clear disclaimer: “Free Wood Post is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within are fiction, and presumably fake news.” But enormous numbers didn’t.

Similarly, the Juggalos piece, which ran before the Fox News tale, first appeared in a post at another satirical “news” site, the National Report. That site uses a url beginning with “,” leading many to assume that the story actually originated with The New York Times, whose url is similar but not the same.

Juggalos is the name used by members of the fan club of the hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse, who are known for making controversial comments.

The story said, in part: “The Southern Poverty Law Center has classified Juggalo’s [sic] as a hate group among 17 states including the entire Midwest (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio), in addition to California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Oregon.”

That, too, was laughably false. While the members of Insane Clown Posse do indeed make incendiary and insensitive remarks, they fall far short of the behavior — namely, having “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics” — that earns a hate-group designation by the SPLC. Moreover, there were some pretty obvious clues. The story claimed the SPLC was asking citizens to “keep an eye open” for a list of behaviors including “Making or responding to a ‘whoop whoop’ call” and “Drinking or spraying their enemies with Faygo (an inexpensive soda).”

However, at least one right-wing blogger — Jay Syrmopoulos at the Free Thought Project — initially succumbed to the hoax and published a breathless post that swallowed the entire tale whole.

Afterward, upon learning that the piece was satire, he edited the story to indicate that the source of information was a spoof, but redirecting his ire at the FBI, which had classified the Juggalos as a gang. “This is the level of absurdity to which our government has risen,” he raged. “They have criminalized an entire fan base with a blanket label over anyone displaying typical rabid fanatic behavior… hence the term fan, short for fanatic!”

Contacted by the SPLC, Syrmopoulos, who is described in his author summary as an “investigative journalist,” was defiant: “The reality is that the SPLC isn't an unbiased research organization, but rather a leftist anti-hate activist group masquerading as a center of legitimate, academically sound research,” he huffed. “Sadly your group is so extremist that the story, as farcical as it was, seemed totally plausible given the SPLC's track record, hence me being duped. On a side note, upon realizing the story was satire I changed the title to state that it was satire and added an update apologizing to my readers and explaining how I was duped. Any other changes made to the piece or title after that did not involve consultation with me.”

“We have no beef with people writing satirical articles, and in fact enjoy satire as much as anyone,” said Mark Potok, the SPLC senior fellow who wrote Syrmopoulos. “But it says something important about today’s right-wing media that so many are snookered so easily, and by such transparently false and ridiculous narratives. The ‘investigative journalist’ and others who credulously repeated these fairy tales as if they were actually true really ought to take up a different line of work, one that doesn’t require such mental effort.”

Sites such as National Report and Freewood Post are symptomatic of what many observers see as a growing problem on the Internet: the proliferation of fake news sites that, as the Washington Post put it, “profit — handsomely, in some cases — from duping gullible Internet users with deceptively newsy headlines. Their business model is both simple and devastatingly effective: Employ a couple unscrupulous freelancers to write fake news that’s surprising or enraging or weird enough to go viral on Facebook; run display ads against the traffic; gleefully cash in.”

And it helps, of course, to have gullible “journalists” out there to help them along.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sovereign Citizen’s Video Shows Texas Officer Breaking Out Window After Repeated Requests For ID

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

A self-described “sovereign citizen” recently posted a video of his May arrest in Addison, Texas, by a local police officer, ostensibly to display police misbehavior as the policeman breaks out his car’s window and handcuffs him.

What the video actually seems to demonstrate instead, however, is how delusional the sovereign citizen worldview really is, and how police are ultimately driven to harsh measures in order to simply enforce traffic laws in ordinary encounters with these “true believers.”

The video shows the May 2 arrest of 49-year-old Scott Richardson after being pulled over for allegedly driving 50 mph in a 40 mph zone. Recorded by Richardson on his cell phone, it shows him arguing with the Addison officer for over four minutes before the policeman gets out his baton and breaks the driver’s side window and pulls the man from the car. At that point, the phone appears to fall onto a seat, recording the sounds of Richardson being put in handcuffs and the officer who made the arrest discussing the matter with a fellow officer.

During the course of the interchange, the officer requests the man show him his driver’s license and proof of insurance a total of 15 times before he gets out his baton, makes the same request a final time, and begins breaking the window.

Throughout the exchange, Richardson refuses the request, instead attempting to interrogate the officer.

“Mmkay, let me ask you a question,” Richardson says. “As a man, what right do you have to stop another man?” When the officer explains that the state of Texas gives him the authority, Richardson goes on to claim that speeding is not illegal in the state.

“I’m speeding? Did you realize that in the State of Texas, speeding in and of itself is not illegal?” he says.

As the Houston Chronicle notes, that is not what Texas law says: the Texas transportation code allows government to enforce speed limits.

Richardson also claims in the video that the 1979 U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Texas, established that law enforcement officers are not allowed to demand a citizen's identification unless he was seen committing a felony. Actually, the case established that officers needed probable cause to detain and ID a citizen, and speeding qualifies as such.

The officer again asks for his ID, and again warns Richardson that he is facing arrest for failure to identify himself. Instead, Richardson keeps trying to question the policeman.

“Mmkay, I’m still having to ask you a question here,” Richardson says.

“That’s not how this works,” the officer responds.

“That is how this works,” Richardson insists.

Eventually, the officer shouts at the man to demand he identify himself or he will break the window open, drawing his baton and raising it. When Richardson keeps babbling into his phone, the window is broken open, the officer opens the door, and the phone falls to the floor. You can then hear the officers telling the man to stay down and then applying handcuffs and telling him he is being charged with failure to identify.

After a few more minutes, the officer can be heard conversing with another policeman, explaining that the matter was just a simple traffic stop: “All he had to do was give me his driver’s license! He was giving me that Republic of Texas crap, saying I had stopped him illegally and I don’t have the right to detain him.”

“This was for speeding?” the other officer asks.

“Yeah, that’s all it was,” the officer says. “All it was.”

A little later, he muses: “I should have known when I saw the back window. All the stickers. All that stuff.”