Federal judge gently pats zip tie insurrectionist on the head, and sends him home

Federal judge gently pats zip tie insurrectionist on the head, and sends him home

In an asinine display of credulousness, a Texas federal judge named Jeffrey Cureton decided that committed insurrectionist and retired Air Force Lt. Col. Lawrence Brock could spend the next few weeks at home drinking Coronas and watching Netflix instead of cooling his heels in jail for his part in terrorizing U.S. government officials during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

As reported by Forbes:

A federal judge released Larry Rendall Brock Jr.— a former Air Force officer who carried zip-ties on the Senate floor during last week’s Capitol insurrection—from custody Thursday, despite the fact the FBI said he was radicalized and spoke of committing violence, as concerns loom about another insurrection attempt during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Brock was famously photographed in full combat gear carrying zip ties on the Senate floor. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, which argued for his continued imprisonment pending trial, Brock intended to take members of Congress hostage and possibly execute them.

Cureton’s magnanimous ruling, which allowed Brock to remain confined to his home with an ankle bracelet, came in spite of pre-detention arguments by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Weimer pointing out that Brock was an obvious danger to the public and that he had committed himself to acts of violence. This assertion was backed by the FBI as well.

From the CBS report:

“He means to take hostages. He means to kidnap, restrain, perhaps try, perhaps execute members of the U.S. government,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Weimer said of retired Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rendall Brock Jr. He did not provide specifics.

Cureton, evidently awed by Brock’s military background, all but stroked his hand as he broke the bad news that yes, Brock would have to stay home and be a good boy until his case came up on the magistrate’s busy docket. To firmly emphasize the seriousness of Brock’s transgression, Cureton granted Brock only “limited” internet access until his trial (presumably his access to porn sites and Amazon will not be impeded).

“I need to put you on a very short rope,” Cureton said. “These are strange times for our country and the concerns raised by the government do not fall on deaf ears.”

While Cureton’s ears were not “deaf,” they were strangely selective. The public defender emphasized Brock’s “patriotism” and his honorable discharge from the Air Force as well as the fact that thus far, Brock had only been charged with misdemeanors that could potentially result in a piddling sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment. In reality, the government has asserted that further, more serious charges will be brought. In contrast, prosecutors pointed out that Brock’s military background—which provides him with the skills to assault, kill, and track other human beings—make him all the more dangerous. Weimer also cited Brock’s own words, written directly prior to the assault on the Capitol.
He also read in court social media posts from Brock, including one posted on the day of the Capitol riot that said: “Patriots on the Capitol. Patriots storming. Men with guns need to shoot their way in.”
Prosecutors might have also cited Brock’s past history of threatening violence, although it is unclear whether they did. As reported by Dallas-Ft. Worth ABC affiliate WFAA:
Previously, Brock worked at CAE Flight Instructor, but was fired in 2017, due to “threatening and discriminatory speech,” according to a letter submitted in court. The letter said Brock told his co-workers that he hadn’t “killed anyone in a long time.”

Last week, Brock told journalist Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker that he simply “found” the zip ties he had been photographed with and was eagerly trying to find a police officer to give them to, apparently to fulfill his civil duty in keeping the floors of our federal buildings trash-free. Farrow interviewed several of Brock’s friends and family members, who confirmed his radicalization and racism while Brock adamantly insisted his intentions were a picture of innocence.

But as noted by researcher John Scott-Railton, who originally identified Brock to the authorities and was interviewed by Farrow for The New Yorker article, it is the image of Brock himself, dressed in his combat garb as he roamed the Capitol, that is most telling of his actual sentiments.

Brock was wearing several patches on his combat helmet and body armor, including one bearing a yellow fleur de lis, the insignia of the 706th Fighter Squadron. He also wore several symbols suggesting that he lived in Texas, including a vinyl tag of the Texas flag overlaid on the skull logo of the Punisher, the Marvel comic-book character. The Punisher has been adopted by police and Army groups and, more recently, by white supremacists and followers of QAnon. Scott-Railton also found a recently deleted Twitter account associated with Brock, with a Crusader as its avatar. “All those things together, it’s like looking at a person’s C.V.,” Scott-Railton said.

Brock’s family members paint a picture of a man gradually radicalized through the stochastic terrorism of Donald Trump.

In recent years, Brock had become an increasingly committed supporter of Donald Trump, frequently wearing a Make America Great Again hat. In the days leading up to the siege of the Capitol, Brock had posted to social media about his plans to travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in Trump’s “Save America” rally. Brock’s family members said that he called himself a patriot, and that his expressions of that identity had become increasingly strident. One recalled “weird rage talk, basically, saying he’s willing to get in trouble to defend what he thinks is right, which is Trump being the President, I guess.”

As this crisis unfolds, it is becoming increasingly obvious that a grievous disconnect continues to exist in the attitude of many in law enforcement—and now, apparently, many in our judiciary system—towards the virulent and deadly nature of these terrorists. Whether that’s because of outright sympathy for their cause or it’s simply an involuntary aversion to punishing white-faced terrorism committed while draped in the flag, as long as that disconnect festers and until this problem is finally internalized by all as the dire threat it represents, our efforts to contain it and eradicate it will continue to fall “on deaf ears.”

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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