Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jim Gilchrist Announces Grand Vision for New Minuteman Border Patrols in 2015

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

Minuteman Project co-founder Jim Gilchrist recently announced that he was “considering” reviving the nativist border watch group. And now he’s made it official, announcing that he will organize a Minuteman border patrol in May of 2015.

Gilchrist clearly hopes to capitalize on the mounting right-wing outrage over the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico involving Central American refugee children.

Gilchrist’s effort – dubbed “Operation Normandy” – is not lacking in grandiosity. The announcement at the Minuteman Project website declares:

The Minuteman Project’s “Operation Normandy” has been launched as of 1200 hours Monday, July 7.

This event will dwarf the original Minuteman Project of 2005. I expect at least 3,500 non-militia volunteers to participate, plus uncounted groups of militias from all over the country.

If you are familiar with the Normandy invasion of France in 1944, then you have an idea how large and logistically complicated this event will be. However, there is one difference. We are not going to the border to invade anyone. We are going there to stop an invasion.

Our federal, state, and community governments have failed to address and fix this calamity. In the spirit of our nation’s Founding Fathers, it is once again time to bring unprecedented national awareness to the decades-long illegal alien crisis jeopardizing the United States.

Participation is open to everyone and there is only one rule:  whatever you do, stay within the rule of law.

It will take 10 months to recruit, organize, and launch this event, and it will cover the porous areas of the 2,000-mile border from San Diego, Ca. to Brownsville, Texas.  

D-Day: 1 May, 2015. 

Gilchrist’s announcement so far has produced relatively gullible news reports from two entities: FoxNews.com, which posted a fluffy account of the revival of the border watch movement, that had its last moment in the media sun back in April 2005. Notably, the story described only in brief and vague terms the causes of the first Minuteman movement’s downfall:

The Minuteman Project gained national traction in 2005, but internal turmoil, accusations of vigilantism and criminal charges against some of its key figures, including a former leader of the movement, Chris Simcox, led to its demise.

The more detailed, and fully accurate, description of the “criminal charges” against “some of its key figures” would include multiple murder charges filed against onetime Minuteman leader Shawna Forde, a close associate of Jim Gilchrist who on May 30, 2009, led a gang of killers into the rural home of an Arizona family and proceeded to murder a 9-year-old girl named Brisenia Flores and her father, Raul “Junior” Flores. They also shot the girl’s mother, a 30-year-old woman named Gina Gonzalez, who eventually drove them from her home in a hail of gunfire, and wound up providing the testimony that put Forde and her chief co-conspirator, Jason Eugene Bush, on Arizona’s Death Row.

The “criminal charges” against co-founder Simcox are only somewhat less disturbing: He is currently in the Maricopa County Jail, awaiting trial (now scheduled for September) on three counts of child molestation.

Another news account, filed by Phoenix CBS station KPHO, was even more devoid of factual information, characterizing Gilchrist (whose name the report misspelled throughout, as well as online) and his Minutemen as benign concerned citizens, with the only caveat being “that putting untrained, unarmed volunteers along the border could create more problems than it solves.”

But Gilchrist held forth at length for the KPHO reporter in a Skype interview, claiming: “We’re trying to recruit thousands of people to cover the porous border areas from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas,” and warning, as he has all along, that he will need 3,500 volunteers in order to be successful.

Gilchrist also promised that there would be no extremist violence or murderous plots emerging from this iteration of the Minutemen: “The rule of law means you do not put a hand on anyone. You do not talk to anyone. You do not confront anyone. You report to Border Patrol,” Gilchrist said.

He also defended the character of the militias that claim to be forming along the border even now. “They’re not these man eating ogres they’re made out to be,” Gilchrist said.

Monday, July 21, 2014

White Supremacist Accused of Shooting Cop Dies in Apparent Jail Suicide

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

James Sapp, the 48-year-old man accused of shooting a police officer during a traffic stop in Vancouver, Wash., on June 30, has died in what authorities are describing as a suicide in the local jail.

Sapp allegedly shot Vancouver officer Dustin Goudschall seven times after being pulled over for a traffic violation, then fled the scene, wrecked his vehicle, and then assaulted an elderly man and carjacked his vehicle before finally being caught by police and arrested. Goudschall survived his critical injuries and was able to help identify his assailant. He is currently recovering from the wounds.

On Sunday morning, deputies found Sapp in his cell attempting to commit suicide and intervened. He was rushed to an area hospital but was pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m.

Sapp had a long history of claiming membership in the Aryan Brotherhood, dating back to previous arrests for other crimes. He was also involved in a 2012 case in Clark County involving an assault on a 12-year-old Latino boy and a relative.

Sapp’s family told the Vancouver Columbian through a spokesperson that even though Sapp “had a checkered background … he loved his family and wife.”

Rev. Michael Baca, the pastor of the church Sapp’s family attends, told the Columbian that Sapp’s issues seemed to have been triggered by a head injury he suffered a few years ago. Earlier this week, Sapp reportedly expressed remorse for what he had done.

“‘I need to make things right with God.’ Those are his exact words,” Baca said. “He knew he was going to be in prison for the rest of his life. He was accepting that. Obviously, (Thursday) something changed.”

The pastor asked for compassion for the man and his family.

“He’s not a monster. He was a person dealing with a lot of issues,” Baca said. “There was something inside of him that would click on that had very powerful control over him.”