Meet Johnny Pollock: The Anti-Social [Media] Cell Leader of January 6 Lakeland Insurrectionists

On January 17, I wrote a post warning that while many January 6 insurrectionists would be easy to find because they boasted on Facebook or other social media sites, the most dangerous insurrectionists would be harder to find.

I get the sense of schadenfreude that the seeming certainty among insurrectionists that they would not only be victorious but their victory celebrations would be risk-free has instead led to their arrests. I’m especially sympathetic to communities of color for whom similar behavior might have gotten them killed.

But with a few exceptions, notably the identification of “zip tie guys” Larry Rendall Brock (by his ex-wife) and Eric Munschel, as well as the identification of Proud Boys member, “Spaz,” as the retired Marine Dominic Pezzola (the latter of whom was arrested with the help of two seeming insider cooperating witnesses), few of the arrests so far have been of the most dangerous insurrectionists.

Four days after that, according to an arrest affidavit for Jonathan (Johnny) Pollock and other members of a group that assaulted multiple cops on January 6, the FBI first released a Be On the LookOut for photo of Pollock.

Days later, Pollock stopped coming to work, citing a “family emergency.” When a co-worker went to his home to pick up keys and other items belonging to their employer, Pollock’s father claimed he didn’t know where his son was.

Pollock allegedly committed the following crimes on January 6 [because the affidavit explicitly uses just a male gender, I’m using “their” here rather than he or her]:

At 1:56, he attacked cops with a pole, then charged them, dragging officers AM and ML to the ground. He then kneed ML close to their face, then attempted to choke another officer:

At 2:04, Pollock grabbed the riot shield from an officer at the next set of barricades, then charged the line.

At 2:11, he took a swing at officer BR, then seized another riot shield, shoving it into officer JG.

At 2:58, he Jumped AS and attempted to pull them over the barricade:

At 4:29, he used a stolen riot shield to pin officers within the tunnel for about 15 minutes so they couldn’t defend against attacks (this may also have prevented them from assisting Roseanne Boyland).

Altogether, Pollock has been indicted for 7 counts of assault and 3 counts of stealing shields. And yet he remains at large, even after his sister Olivia and three other associates charged along with him were arrested last week.

These people were not charged with conspiracy or even attempting to obstruct the election.

A detention memo for his co-defendant, Michael Perkins, suggests Pollock’s group walked to the Capitol as part of a larger group that assembled at the Washington Monument, suggesting there may be some tie to the Proud Boys.

Perkins, his codefendants, and others who engaged in the attacks were part of a larger group of individuals who appear to have traveled together from the Washington Monument to the Capitol grounds on the afternoon of January 6, 2021. Many members of this group are related and/or from the same area of Florida and likely planned their travel both to and from Washington, D.C. and within the district in concert with each other.

Yet there’s no mention of any Proud Boy affiliation either.

Perhaps the government hasn’t charged these five as a conspiracy because they’re hiding their case from Pollock. But the arrest affidavit suggests the group left relatively few digital tracks for investigators (or had thoroughly scrubbed them by March 17, when the FBI conducted its first overt interview relating to Pollock). Of the five arrested, only Olivia gets mentioned as carrying a cell phone that placed her at the Capitol. The arrest affidavit describes Johnny boasting and sharing cell phone pictures of his role in the insurrection with co-workers, but it describes no social media use by him (and the affidavit may suggest that Pollock left his phone at his home before he left). Two of the other defendants, Joseph Hutchison and Josh Doolin, were tied to the Pollocks in part by their tie to the Pollock family gun shop, but also through a social media post that a Pollock family member (perhaps a sibling that also attended the riot) had posted. A different Pollock relative posted images of Jonathan and Olivia on social media. Perkins’ wife, who also attended the riot, also appears in social media.

Mostly, though, the FBI suggests that this is a case built off the Body Worn Cameras of the cops the group assaulted and surveillance footage, not social media clues so typical of other insurrectionists.

And that was all before Johnny managed to avoid FBI capture during at least three months on the lam.

Update: One of the online researchers who tracked this group told me that Pollock had an iPhone 8 with him and the group did little more than nod at the Proud Boys. It was a much larger group, and included Pollock’s father.

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125 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    He sounds like he’s in the category of “lose the key”. Probably being hidden by others like him, and his father likely knows who, or has a good idea of who/where to start.

    • Leoghann says:

      Let’s see. Daddy owns or operates a “family gun shop,” and has at least two children who participated in the insurrection. It’s just INSANE to think he might lie to anyone about Johnny’s whereabouts, right?

  2. Savage Librarian says:

    One of the most interesting things to me about the Pollocks and their klan is that they are from Polk County, FL (and Perkins is from Hillsborough County, right next door.) I say this because the militia that threatened me years ago was headed by a man in Polk County.

    Here is an excerpt that the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote about his obituary in 2003:

    “Remaking the Right” | Southern Poverty Law Center, November 12, 2003
    …..
    “Another Korean War veteran-turned-extremist got slightly fuller treatment from newspapers when he died the day after Mohr. Though he had been forced to resign as sheriff of Polk County, Fla., in 1987 due to a host of alleged improprieties, white-supremacist leader Dan Daniels was honored with a law-enforcement funeral, complete with 21-gun salute.”

    “After leaving office, Daniels published a monthly tabloid, The Eagle, which excoriated politicians, Jews, blacks, gay men and lesbians and the news media. In the 1990s, as the Lakeland Ledger duly noted, he became regional coordinator of the National Association for the Advancement of White People, a racist group founded by David Duke.”

    “The NAAWP, which denied connections to the Ku Klux Klan, fell apart after a 1997 report on ABC’s “Prime Time Live” showed Klan members communing with NAAWP followers at Daniels’ Florida ranch.”

    “Daniels’ son, Steven, asked that his father be remembered “as a giving family man who was devoted to his career in law enforcement and loved animals.”

    https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2003/remaking-right

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Back in the day, before many people had smart phones or internet access at home, they routinely visited libraries for public access to computers where they could surf the net. In the mid 1990’s, members of the NAAWP regularly came to libraries to search websites like Stormfront. They were sophisticated in their skills and seemed to have large networks. Often they would print pages to leave around the building.

      The following article gives a sense of what white supremacists are doing currently:

      “A few miles from Mar-a-Lago, white supremacists set up headquarters” – Brittany Wallman, Megan O’Matz, Mario Aries, 1/20/21
      …..
      “Florida is teeming with hate groups, according to a 2019 assessment by the Southern Poverty Law Group.”

      “In 2019, 67 hate groups called Florida home. They include Stormfront, a white nationalist group in West Palm Beach that is considered the first major hate site on the Internet” [Started in 1995 by David Duke’s ex-wife and his friend, Don Black.]
      …..
      “Stern said the group’s [The Sovereign American Project] computer tactics also are concerning.”

      “We’ve never seen this before in a group like this,” Stern said, alleging members and their affiliates communicate over the dark web and regularly change computer IP addresses so they cannot be tracked.”

      https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-white-supremacists-ss-prem-20210120-55z7iiaribet3lei4h6372ftb4-story.html

    • Eureka says:

      I am proud to “know” you, Savage Librarian, and will always appreciate your doing your level best to stand up for your community’s safety at great personal cost. For various reasons, it’s likely that people who encounter these types in professional situations, as part of their work lives as opposed to strictly personal lives, may sooner act on the boundary violations they detect (by engaging social rules, law enforcement, etc. — to various measures of success). And then there are those whose threshold for detection is more sensitive than those of others in their surrounds. Probably more often it’s the “whistleblower” who suffers, but you never know what you may have changed or prevented by speaking up and following through.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Thanks for the kind words, Eureka! They made my day. Those tiny actions I took had a minuscule effect way back when. But since then, thanks to you (yes, indeedy, more so than you might imagine) and to emptywheel and to everyone who visits the e-feuilleton, our shared thoughts and actions have helped us all to see more clearly.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          SL, it won’t surprise you that my research into serious crime and/or truly criminally botched “justice” has taken me to Florida. Often. In the interests of clarity, and because I have a close friend who lives in Clearwater, I am trying to focus on Pinellas County first, and Lee County second, because said friend had many interactions with law enforcement there. (This led to me having to interact with Lee County/Fort Myers officials too. The issue was mental illness, not criminal behavior, but you wouldn’t have known that from their response.)

          I find Florida’s inland fascinating. Some of those places seem virtually lawless, in that all control is vested in a county sheriff who may or may not be a lunatic. In places where resources are scarce, whether money or power, he who commands most of either will acquire access to the other. Plus ca change …

          • Savage Librarian says:

            I remember having a conversation with an experienced attorney whose firm sent him to a location that he truly feared for the reasons you mention. No harm came to him, but the threat was real.

            The county I live in is not scary in that way. In fact, a realtor going door to door yesterday told me how safe she felt because of how progressive she perceived the neighborhood to be.

            In the experience I had in the past, individuals in the government made the situation far worse than it might otherwise have been. Today, though, I don’t think they would handle it the same way. I think there are people who would work together for a better outcome.

            • Ginevra diBenci says:

              If you’re right (and I pray that you are), it’s because of you, people like you, and the way you stood up for truth. Such stands are often scary, but I have found that taking them makes such actions imaginable for others who may have felt trapped before. Thank you.

  3. harpie says:

    Yet there’s no mention of any Proud Boy affiliation either.

    A lot of people/groups congregated at the Washington Monument…besides the Proud Boys, I’ve seen mention of Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, religious groups…Rep Gosar was there…

  4. ApacheTrout says:

    Given that video evidence of his violent attacks would have been immediately available to the FBI, could they have really have waited until March 17 to investigate him? That seems a crazy long time.

    • bmaz says:

      No, it is really not. This is a HUGE case, and these things do not happen overnight. I remain perplexed about the lack of insight people have about the prosecution of giant conspiracy cases.

      • Lillyhobbs says:

        Wheels grinding slow but fine. I am anxious to be educated by this case, at length. Popcorn ready, again. But, at heart, I am still in mourning that people tried to overthrow the government and a big chunk of the citizenry is disappointed that it didn’t work.

        [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so community members get to know you. So far you’ve used four different usernames — LillyH, Lilly H, Lilly Hobbs, Lillyhobbs. Please pick one name and stick with it. Thanks. /~Rayne]

      • Norskeflamthrower says:

        Relax Bman, folks are just anxious as hell and feel like they’re caught in the crosswalk of an uncontrolled intersection.

          • Norskeflamthrower says:

            “It is the people howling at nothing that need to relax.”

            Sigh…it is the very people who want information and assurance that are “howling”.

            • bmaz says:

              Yes. They need to chill out. This prosecution is not a blog exercise, it occurs in real life. Try to understand that.

              • ThomasH says:

                After your many admonitions to CTFO and relax, let the process work, I found myself remarking that the case is actually moving along very quickly. As a semiliterate cartoonist, I appreciate your wisdom, not to mention Marcy, Rayne and all the others.

                • bmaz says:

                  Yes. It is a hard, emotional, and rightfully so, case. But something this big takes time in the criminal justice system, also rightfully so. It is going along fine so far.

              • Norskeflamthrower says:

                “They need to chill out.”

                I guess that’s the reassurance they need while they get hit by trucks goin’both directions

              • Leoghann says:

                Actually, b, “remain perplexed” is quite relaxed and reserved for you. And although many may think that, because Johnny Pollack has been in the wind for 5 months or so, he is permanently lost and has skated. Yeah. Ask Whitey Bulgar or Howard Farley about that.

                • bmaz says:

                  Yes, indeed. And both Bulger and Farley had boatloads of cash to help them hide. I kind of looked around a bit, but it does not seem Pollock does. Fun fact: When Bulger was finally captured, it was about a block away from my summer apartment when I worked in Santa Monica. Like Farley, the people around him said he was pretty chill, even if eccentric.

                  • Leoghann says:

                    Yeah, he was said by neighbors and acquaintances to be one to keep to himself. Of course, in his position, he’d have been a fool to behave in such a manner as to draw any attention to himself. OTOH, Tim Brown, nee Howard Farley, had a regular social life and a lot of friends.

                    One thing that Pollock apparently has is an old Southern family who’s used to borderline criminal behavior. Those folks keep secrets well.

        • Peterr says:

          After years of enjoying your flamethrowing (“KEEP THE FAITH AND PASS THE AMMUNITION!”), I am amused at the irony of you calling on folks to relax.

          *grin*

        • Rayne says:

          SeditionTracker.com website has details on 533 suspects charged/indicted to date. Imagine how much electronic content each of these suspects alone — not including those still sought and yet to be charged/indicted — created in the lead up to, during, and after the January 6 insurrection. That’s a massive amount of material through which law enforcement has had to dig, consisting of emails, text messages, social media posts, phone call records, recordings of Zello and other voice communications, video, credit/debit card records and bank statements, other documentation like cell phone tower and traffic records. It’s a massive investigation exceeding the size of 9/11 and you know what came out of that in terms of impact on society.

          And then the gaps have to be filled in by comparing electronic evidence between accused. Then locating the perp, arresting and taking into custody, lawyering up, indictment/charges/pleas, the attempts to flip — so much work.

          I suggest you add SeditionTracker.com and these folks to your daily read in addition to Marcy’s work:

          https://twitter.com/MacFarlaneNews
          https://twitter.com/ZoeTillman
          https://twitter.com/alex_mallin
          https://twitter.com/jsrailton

          At least you’ll have a better feel for the amount of work going on.

          • Earthworm says:

            To Rayne, bmaz, norske, et al
            The amount of work being done by dr emptywheel and teams of investigators is overwhelming to consider, actually!
            The enormity of tracing down all these details and keeping them sorted makes my head spin. Much appreciate the work and the framework provided by this site.

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        As discussed the other day, too many of us were educated by the tee-vee machine when it comes to law enforcement… we expect complicated legal problems to be resolved in approximately 50 minutes, complete w/ convenient bathroom breaks, manipulative musical cues that get us ready for what’s coming next, and close ups of squinting eyes and sweat-beaded foreheads.

        That’s the reason I keep coming back here… to gain a valid perspective on this situation, apart from my personal ‘Dirty Harry’ law enforcement fantasies.

        What really bothers me at this point isn’t that this is taking too long to resolve, it’s that I suspect these clowns are going to try again… and again… and again… I didn’t think they were going to succeed on Jan 6 but I’m afraid they learned a lot from that day and they will be back…

        And then, there’s all the ugliness going on in GOP-controlled state legislatures right now, too… and if the state legislatures succeed in what they’re trying to do, clowns like the ones who stormed the capitol on the 6th simply might not need to try again.

        • subtropolis says:

          I find that it’s even worse than having tv expectations. It’s online expectations. I couldn’t begin to count the number of times I’ve seen people losing their shit because X hasn’t been resolved in the time it takes to put together a Twitter thread. Some shit will be breaking frigging news and there’ll be someone frantically posting, “Why isn’t anyone doing something?!” It’s both hilarious and disheartening.

      • timbo says:

        It’s likely because they’re used to TV and movie depictions of crime and law investigations to a large extent, not the actual practice of such investigations in real life.

      • Atomic Shadow says:

        “I remain perplexed about the lack of insight people have about the prosecution of giant conspiracy cases.”

        Maybe because some of us haven’t prosecuted a giant conspiracy case? I hope that clears it up.

        I was going to stop there, however… Bmaz, you could point us towards an instructive article, or even explain a thing to us yourself . But the way you word this, and other comments, it feels as if the important thing that you’re trying to get across is that some of us are just not very smart. You are perplexed by how slow some of the other kids in school are? Really? This happens often enough that I have begun to read your comments in Sheldon’s voice from Big Bang Theory.

        The reason I come here is to read Marcy’s insights. I get all the condescending attitude I can use at work.

        Hope this helps.

        • bmaz says:

          No, that does not help for squat, but thanks. I do the best I can to convey what I see going on. And, I have tried relentlessly to explain things. Take your “Sheldon” voice and shove it.

          You come to a site for informed commentary, and then shit on half of it. You come only for Marcy only it appears. Fine. Then ignore and do not shit on others. Thanks for all your continued support.

          • Max404 says:

            Dear bmaz,
            It doesn’t help. Try to be nicer. If the intention of the poster is good, be nice. Intention is everything. Important in trial outcomes,too.

            I have a close family member who became a lawyer. (ASU – is it part of the curriculum ?) Before law school, he was a really nice guy. After, you couldn’t have a conversation about potatoes with him, since everything became an argument and he had to win. Win he does most of the time but that initial decline into assholic behavior became a lifelong habit. Too bad.
            Just trying to help.
            Max

            • Rayne says:

              Please stop lecturing the moderation team. We deal with enough trolls which are often detected when they run into the grizzly.

              Stay on topic, bring well-researched discussion, don’t poke the bear, and everything will be fine. Perhaps a review of the comment policy is in order, taking note of the last graf.

          • Atomic Shadow says:

            There was no issue with the informed commentary. The issue was about the tone. I agree with Max404, be nicer. As the wise Muppet once said, “Do, or not do, There is no try”.

            In my head, did I read, “Take your “Sheldon” voice and shove it.”, in a Sheldon voice? Absolutely.

            • bmaz says:

              I really don’t care what voices you have in your head, but we do not need your “tone” policing. And, by the way, I have explained about large conspiracy prosecutions repeatedly. They take a LOT of work and a LOT of time, and do not magically wrap up in six months. Thank you for your input.

  5. OldTulsaDude says:

    That this guy can disappear successfully makes me wonder if the pipe-bomber isn’t part of the same group, and I also wonder if the FBI recovered any DNA from those devices. Which then makes me wonder if current and/or former military have DNA swabs on record for remains identification.

    Or have I been watching too much true crime on tv?

    • Norskeflamthrower says:

      Those are good questions. And the worry about both active duty and veterans is acute. We’ve had a few decades now of all volunteer, “professional” military funded by billions and equipped with technology of mass destruction. What the Founders worried about in “standing armies” is now our experience.

      • Greg Hunter says:

        Yes my fear as well. Post 911 the funding of agencies that attracted a certain mindset has prevailed while the agencies that worked for the Common Good got less funding. I sometimes think Dick Cheney knew what he was doing.

        I think the military attracts idealistic and militaristic patriots. I think the idealists are the ones that end up with the trouble adjusting to post military life.

        • Norskeflamthrower says:

          I’m not certain that there aren’t less and less idealistic and NON-militaristic patriots since the elimination of the draft. Frankly, it was the draft sending disillusioned idealists (like me) to war and back that sent Nixon home and us outta there. Every economic downturn since Vietnam has forced more and more young white men who come of age with no prospects to chose the military. No, I used to think that the enlisted ranks were gunna save us from the “professional”, corporate officer corps but now I’m not so sure. Everyone should read “All Quiet On The Western Front” for a more articulate telling of what I’m trying to say.

          • bmaz says:

            I do not know the answer to this question. I did not get drafted, but had the fear as my number was very close when it really stopped. By then it was quite apparent what a cockup Vietnam had been.

            You have been here long enough to remember my Pat Tillman story. He was exactly that idealistic white guy that signed up. But he had all the “other prospects”, and in every regard. But off he went. By the time he was (fairly apparently) fragged, he had figured out what a terrible joke that war was too.

            All Quiet On The Western Front is not just a stunning book, but a remarkable early movie too.

            • Norskieflamethrower says:

              Yes!! I saw the movie in my teens and began to work nderstand just what my father and grandfather were telling me. I can’t find the movie anywhere though

              • bmaz says:

                I saw it in a film class in college, but it really stuck. It appears to be available on Amazon Prime video, but not sure about that. Book or video, it was a lesson not learned well enough.

                • sdr (I'm sure I've used different names here but don't remember what, sorry) says:

                  John Boy! It’s free on Amazon Prime right now.

                  • bmaz says:

                    Thank you!

                    Also, it appears you once previously used “Aliris”. Either is fine, and thank you for caring. Welcome, pick one and join us more often please. – bmaz

              • John Paul Jones says:

                Available in blu-ray as of a couple of years ago. Got it almost as soon as it came out. The BR is restored as to both picture and sound, and is an amazing film. A little dated, but not so much as to interfere with one’s enjoyment. Easy to find on Amazon with “all quiet on the western front blu ray.”

                • Norskieflamethrower says:

                  YES!! Thanx, I’m such a dinosaur that I didn’t think I could play Blu-Ray on the Amazon or Netflix platforms w/o some app contraption on my TV. Don’t laugh, you will be old too some day and the world will have left you completely confused.

            • Tracy Lynn says:

              You know, it never occurred to me that Pat Tillman had been deliberately fragged until you mentioned that, Bmaz. I remember that when it happened, most media took the administration’s line that it was a tragic accident. Now I’m curious about that incident. I have to read up on it now.

              • bmaz says:

                “Deliberately” will likely never be really known. And the military’s investigation was garbage. But friendly fire is different, and extremely likely. Point being, Pat had turned hard against what they were doing at the time.

                • pasha says:

                  “friendly fire is…extremely likely.”

                  we lost my cousin, a medic, to “friendly fire” in vietnam. he was tending the wounded when the patrol retreated and an officer called in artillery. the marines were less than forthcoming, but one of his naval corpsman mates told my aunt what really happened.

                  i remain humbly grateful i was lucky enough to be able to attend college and avoid that awful war

    • subtropolis says:

      If, by same group, you mean the widely varied collection of dangerous right-wing actors in the US, sure. There are A LOT of these people, and they are networked, though the groups don’t necessarily work together. I’m not even too sure that the pipe-bomber is an anti-government type.

      I’d think that whoever planted the bombs was probably local, in any case. I saw an article about the investigation (source not recalled) perhaps a month ago that stated that the FBI has a potential second suspect. Someone was seen on security video in the days before seeming to be casing the locations. This person was tracked on various videos taking the Metro to a station in, I believe, Arlington or nearby. The Feds almost certainly have a lot more information than has been released to the Press, of course.

      (Whether this person was regarded as a “second” suspect because the FBI is confident that he is not the person shown in the earlier images, or simply because he shows up in a second set of imagery was left unstated. It may well have been the same individual.)

      • OldTulsaDude says:

        I was thinking that the ability to successfully disappear within a matter of hours takes planning – and likely co-conspirators.

  6. harpie says:

    The FAMILY of JONATHAN and OLIVIA POLLOCK owns a gun shop named

    RAPTURE GUNS AND KNIVES

    Their brother BEN runs the store. That store was robbed, AGAIN, in early January, 2017:

    Lakeland gun shop burglary has Polk Sheriff fuming
    https://wfla.com/news/lakeland-gun-shop-burglary-has-polk-sheriff-fuming/994153681/ Posted: Jan 9, 2017 / 03:10 PM LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA)

    From that news report and VIDEO:

    Ben Pollock: These were professionals. They were in and out so fast.
    WFLA: Store owner Ben Pollock tells me he beefed up security after a break-in several years ago. It wasn’t enough.
    BP: Well, I don’t know how they plan to get rid of the guns, but it can’t be good.
    […]
    [1:32] BP: We’re a small store. We’re a family-owned business. A safe that size would be a huge expense.
    […]
    [1:44] Ben’s FATHER [maybe also “Ben”]: We’re gonna bury these guys if they come back.
    WFLA: Ben’s father insists his son is not the criminal. He plans 24-hour armed security.
    Ben’s FATHER: That is cheaper than a safe, cause I got a lotta children that are old enough to carry firearms.

    Jonathan’s FATHER made an appearance in the complaint:

    [p5] When JONATHAN POLLOCK returned to work, he used his cell phone to show photos of himself at the Capitol, including the images in paragraph 14 below, and to brag to his coworkers about having been on the news. On the second day after JONATHAN POLLOCK returned to work, JONATHAN POLLOCK reported that he had a “family emergency,” left the worksite, and did not return again. One of JONATHAN POLLOCK’s coworkers (“Coworker-1”) was sent to JONATHAN POLLOCK’s home address, to recover keys and items belonging to the company. Coworker-1 told Witness-1 that JONATHAN POLLOCK’s father answered the door, showed Coworker-1 JONATHAN POLLOCK’s keys and phone, and stated he did not know where JONATHAN POLLOCK was.

    • harpie says:

      There’s a photo of PERKINS at paragraph 24 [p11]. There is a man standing behind Perkins whom #seditionhunters have been calling PLAID DAD. OLIVIA is standing right behind him.

      https://twitter.com/VelvetBlade/status/1358916042177748992
      6:10 PM · Feb 8, 2021

      [THREAD] By 4:52, a man in a plaid shirt appears to call #Magnolia #AFO144 down & help him. Once he climbs down from the archway, the same man leans on him and they leave the area. [THREAD]

      That man looks a LOT like Ben’s and Jonathan’s FATHER from the VIDEO.

    • Leoghann says:

      Your notice the WFLA interviewer felt it necessary to say “Ben is NOT the criminal.” Translation of Ben & Dad’s statements in the WFLA interview: “LOL we love it when we can use insurance to fund our arsenal! I mean, you pay for it, you oughta git something out of it, right?”

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        harpie, thanks for the local-colorfuls research! I have a question: is armed security actually cheaper than a safe? WTF?

        • P J Evans says:

          I’d think the safe would be much cheaper, paying for itself in a month or so of armed-guard time. (Armed guards get paid a bit more than unarmed, but do require, in most states, passing a basic test. I have friends who could have worked armed, but chose not to because of the kind of people they’d have to deal with.)

          • vvv says:

            “WFLA: Ben’s father insists his son is not the criminal. He plans 24-hour armed security.
            Ben’s FATHER: That is cheaper than a safe, cause I got a lotta children that are old enough to carry firearms.”

            Gonna put “a lotta children” to work, see.

        • Leoghann says:

          Armed security is only cheaper than a safe if you happen to have a number of offspring, as well as nieces and nephews, who are willing to work “security” for free or dirt cheap. And from Dad’s rhetoric, I expect all those “children” have had a lifelong indoctrination into The (Lost) Cause, of which all his endeavors are a part. But really, he probably doesn’t want a safe, because he couches his occasional personal appropriation of store stock as theft. Ginevra, meet Excuse.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            That is exactly what I thought (“Ginevra, meet excuse”). But since I’ve never bought a safe *or* hired armed guards, I didn’t feel like I could just assert it as fact.

            Thanks for all the great answers, and the fabulous mental image of plaid-shirted Pollacks posted around that store with excessively powerful armaments.

          • P J Evans says:

            The one gunshop I was in – it’s long gone, in both physical and business senses – had barred windows. And a basement. It was also on a corner that got a fair amount of traffic. Never heard of any robberies there.

  7. Silly but True says:

    Given extent of his brutality and quantity of attacks, Pollack should be looking at rest of his life behind bars.

    He already knows this.

    Inventory the family gun shop.

    And be careful in arresting him.

    He seems like candidate to choose to be hostage-taker or a glory-blazer.

    • bmaz says:

      No, that is silly. These are not LWOP offenses. It is hilarious how anti-carceral people are until something pricks their radar.

      • Silly but True says:

        They’re going easy on the offenses.

        The missed knee to head while officer down and choking each should be attempted murder.

        • bmaz says:

          No, it should not. That is ridiculous, hyperbolic and not true to the criminal code. And, no, “they” are not “going easy” on the offenses, instead are charging appropriately. You really have no idea what you are talking about.

          • Kenster42 says:

            It’s becoming an unfortunate trend across both parties over the last few years. I’ve even seen it in myself lately, which is disappointing, but I try to remember how tiring the Trumpers have been in their monomania concentration on lying pretty much about everything. I’ve been trying to figure out how to parse the Ashli Babbitt shooting and be more objective.

            While I am firmly of the belief that what that officer did saved a lot of Congressfolks and probably did more than any one event to make the rioters realize that the officers with guns were not messing around, I try to think about how I would have reacted had the rioters been Antifa or BLM protesters and a white cop shot a black woman. Would I shift because the optics had shifted? Not sure, but troubling.

            All to say, thanks bmaz for keeping us all honest by focusing on an impartial application of the law.

            • bmaz says:

              As to your hypothetical, I don’t know what I would think either, but hopefully the same thing. Optics are not always convenient. In fact, like here, they rarely are.

            • Rayne says:

              Wow. Wow. In June 2020, Trump not only had the United States Park Police put up barriers around the White House ahead of BLM protests in DC, but then had DC’s Metropolitan Police Department, the Secret Service, and the Bureau of Prisons personnel as well as the presence of some DOD resources to clear the protesters from the Lafayette Square area outside the barrier. Protesters were kept out of the White House grounds; Trump could have ignored them but he decided to be a dick and make a political photo op out of it.

              There’s a night-and-day difference between that level of response and the Capitol Building Police response to the January 6 insurrection in which a swarm of nearly all white protesters not only advanced on the capitol’s grounds past weak sauce bike rack barricades and into the Capitol Building hours before National Guard were summoned and deployed.

              Dude. You can’t both sides this shit. BLM protests were First Amendment activities which did NOT impede the function of government. The January 6 insurrection was a violent rebellion which sought to interfere with and obstruct the operation of Congress — that’s sedition.

              Don’t think for a second I can’t see through your crap.

      • subtropolis says:

        I see a lot of this over at Daily Kos. No, not a single one of these assholes deserves LIFE in prison. When one points out how ridiculous that sentiment is, the usual response is an appeal to some poor bastard’s 20-year sentence for stealing a slice of pizza, or similar. And so, the discussion turns to a lesson in logical fallacies. SMH.

      • P J Evans says:

        It does occur to me that having a friendly gun-shop owner would make getting rid of inconvenient firearms much easier. (Or getting one.) But the rest…. Requires evidence and a fair trial.

        • bmaz says:

          Yes. But if they are legitimate dealers, it requires more compliance tracking and becomes more problematic for them. Theoretically at least.

  8. Callender says:

    The Flamethrower’s comment above about our all volunteer army is well taken. As a Vietnam era draftee who served in 69 and 70, and watched as the army went from conscription to all volunteer in 73, universal conscription is a hobby horse of mine.

    I see studies indicating a scary percentage of these “all professional” military types are right wingers – some percentage of them are white supremacists. The precise numbers are hazy, but the Military Times has recent survey data indicating that as many as a third of active duty military personnel have witnessed white nationalism within the ranks.

    A disturbing number of the people being charged have military links, are veterans, reservists, retirees, etc.

    A disturbing number of them are cops too, but that’s another story.

    Bring back the draft.

    • rip says:

      These figures that say something like “45% have seen evidence of something within the population” are totally worthless in terms of discussing the prevalence of that “something”.

      I know 95% of people of seen others speeding. Does that mean 95 of people speed. NO!

    • Greg Hunter says:

      Those in the Military Industrial Complex know that re-instituting the draft would limit the decisions to use the military due to the increased out cry from parents, so it will never happen. Just as BMAZ stated I worried about the draft but it passed me by.

      My anecdotal analysis concerning the types of people that join the enforcement parts of government (BOP, DOD, DHS, FBI, CIA…) comes from my observation, but also the observation of others that are in other branches of the government. As the longest war went on, more and more preference was given to veterans to obtain employment in land management agencies (Forest Service, Park Service and BLM). One of these hires made the observation that the Park Service only attracts a certain mind set of people and I readily agreed with him, but he was less than pleased when I pointed out that the enforcement parts of the government are vastly more funded than Park Service and those agencies tend to hire a “certain type of person”.

      I also proceed to say that these enforcement types end up being employed in Police and Fire around the country, who seem to vote for Republican candidates. I then continue to press the fact that the Military is the largest socialist organization in America and that most of them end up working their entire careers with absolutely zero exposure to Capitalism.

      To be called a Right Wing Socialist really spins their wheels, but I think it is far to late to change the process as since 911, the enforcement agencies have created generational employment within these agencies that have allowed families to have stable employment and healthcare that is unavailable to most other Americans.

      While most Americans think that generations of families that join the military are noble and should be venerated and generational welfare should be scorned: I think the former is far more dangerous than the latter. Not quite Rome, but it rhymes.

  9. russell penner says:

    As a rural technician payed for productivity ( IANAL ), my perspective is quite different than a lawyer billing hourly. But working class Americans know this: if we were to attack our local courthouse, fight our local cops, set up a gallows for our judge, and break, enter,and destroy property in public offices, our fate would be decided much swifter and more severely than we’re seeing played out in the 1/6 Capital attack.

    • bmaz says:

      Not if I was your lawyer you wouldn’t. And I presume you would be in state, and not Federal court, and with at most a few co-defendants to sort out. These situations are not analogous in the least. Cute dig at “productivity” though.

      • Norskeflamthrower says:

        Thanx for that response Bman, the point isn’t that none of these folks are guilty of serious and violent acts but that the entire purpose of our system is to enforce due process and let the rule of law proceed and THEN send the bastards to jail.

    • Rayne says:

      Let me point to the April 30, 2020 armed protest in Michigan’s state capitol building:


      These guys disrupted the operation of state government — technically sedition, rebellion, and insurrection. It took until January 11 this year after the January 6 insurrection for the state’s MIGOP-led capitol commission to cooperate and agree to ban firearms in the state capitol.

      You’re kidding yourself if you think state and local governments are prepared for sedition and insurrection. Perhaps they’re prepared to deal with a so-called lone wolf, but not organized groups intent on disrupting government operation.

      • russell penner says:

        One LEO was prepared, and put a bullet in Babbitt’s neck.No charges or discipline leads me to the conclusion it was a justified shoot. Would that extend to 10 invaders? 100? As many as crawled through that broken window? Pretty sure our locals would have used all the ammo on hand in my courthouse hypothetical. No one would have gone home or on Mexican vacations…

        • Rayne says:

          I’m not going to hunt it down for you but in at least one video members of Congress can be seen behind the police officer, still scrambling toward a secure location while the officer is yelling and warning persons including Babbitt trying to break through the window. It appeared the officer had no reason to believe there was anything but an imminent threat to Congress based on that video. This nation’s democracy literally hung in the balance at that moment, waiting for Congress to be secured before the horde breached that portion of the capitol.

          But your argument still falls apart when we look at what happened at capitol buildings across the country. Next case in point: the Oregon state house where the asshole state rep actually let them in the building as part of a seditious conspiracy. All those nice white people, armed to the teeth, engaged in insurrection. NBD.

          • russell penner says:

            You make good points,but wasn’t government of the people, by the people, for the people ,in peril when the Capital police lost control at the barricades? And yes,insurrections/coups have a much better chance of success with inside help.
            Your colleague in moderation reminds me of a remora attached to a mako ( Dr. Emptywheel…

            • Rayne says:

              You’re new here with only three comments under your belt that I can see. You may wish to acquaint yourself with our rather loosely-structured comment policy. See: https://www.emptywheel.net/2021/02/17/3-things-its-our-lucky-day/#comment-883218

              The reason the comment section at this site remains open and available for coherent, cogent discussion is that it is monitored closely. Think not of a remora-on-shark but sharks of varying bite sizes in a moat around a castle. Sadly, no frickin’ laser beams on our heads, only digital cattle prods and electronic oubliettes.

      • Leoghann says:

        The siege of the Michigan State Capital was particularly egregious, seeing as how the attackers were armed and open about their intent. But was the problem a lack of preparedness on the part of the local and state police, or was it more that those agencies are shot through-and-through with sympathizers, who weren’t about to come to the defense of what they see as a Democrat-controlled, thus “enemy,” institution?

        • Rayne says:

          It’s possible there are plenty of sympathizers in MPD’s ranks, but I don’t get the impression that’s what the problem was. The issue was more that no one had envisioned an armed protest occupying the capitol to begin with, and the state’s horribly gerrymandered districting which consistently produces GOP-majority legislature bolsters the lack of vision because GOP=Guns-R-Good,More-Guns-R-Gooder.

  10. Alan Charbonneau says:

    I was 18 in 1972 and I say no, let’s not bring back the draft.
    55,000 American dead in Vietnam, most of them draftees. We should absolutely not bring back the draft.

    • Norskeflamthrower says:

      No brother, if there hadn’t been a draft we would still be in Vietnam and now the oligarchy doesn’t need a draft because they have a constant source of man and women power and the technology that doesn’t require as much man power to impose their will.

      • Norskieflamethrower says:

        Thanx to the “editor” (I assume it was Rayne) who changed my original post from “man power” to “man and woman power”… I just assumed everyone here understands that I include men and women in that phrase but some young folks who are used to enlightening old men like me don’t believe it.

        • Rayne says:

          I don’t think any of us changed your comment. While I might prefer you used “labor,” I wouldn’t bother with it. My editing of comments is usually reserved for monitoring links for tracking.

      • John Lehman says:

        A pragmatic old cynical kumbaya guy here.

        Perhaps not now but in the future opportunistic businesses (read: profiteering war mongers) will come to the simple realization that they can make a lot more money developing trading partnerships with the peoples of the world than bombing the hell out of them.

        We’ll always need some forces and armaments to keep domestic and world peace though just not nearly as many as we have now.

        • Norskieflamethrower says:

          SERIOUSLY??!!!

          [FYI, if you notice your comments take longer to clear moderation, it’s because you’re making a higher than average number of errors in your name/email/URL fields. I’ve edited this one to clear it. /~Rayne]

          • John Lehman says:

            Seriously.

            Even in a superficial glance of world history it’s easy to observe the pattern of the world’s civilizations marching forward.

            Hammurabi Code, Magna Carta, U.S. Constitution, U.N. Charter which one of these are the most advanced?

            Are you even more cynical than this old man?

            • P J Evans says:

              They’re all products of their time. And not better than that. We only advance as far as the conservatives of the time will allow. (Magna Carta wasn’t the advance we’ve been taught in school.)

              • John Lehman says:

                Rocks, chipped flint, copper, bronze, iron, steel, gun powder, dynamite (didn’t a guy get a Nobel prize for inventing dynamite…no, no, you idiot…Nobel invented dynamite and in his (Nobel’s) remorse for dynamite being used in warfare created the Nobel peace prize….anyhow we see how humanity’s progressive tool making to easily becomes progressive war tools.

                And now we are at the 21st Century after the birth of a guy who strongly advocated that we “…turn our swords into plowshares”…advice that humans have tragically ignored for 20 centuries.

                The point being that as our technology progressed our warfare tools have progressed until now in a century that had the two worst wars in human history ending with the worst weapon used in human history.

                This soapbox speech being given isn’t an argument as to whether the

                “Magna Carta wasn’t the advance we’ve been taught in school.”

                but a plea for world peace.

                • P J Evans says:

                  Write more clearly, and don’t plead advancement through those docs. People haven’t changed that much, and I’m not sure about legal systems either.

                  • John Lehman says:

                    Yes, will try to write with more clarity but that’s asking quite bit for this old guy…who’s writing style has been tainted by the poetic license of e.e.cummings……and going’s.

                  • timbo says:

                    Actually, the intellectual discussions surrounding perception and individualism, etc, human dignity, etc, have advanced a lot… through those documents and others. The most common denominator, the human species/individual/tribal tendencies, etc, haven’t changed as much as many like to pretend though, not physically, nor our base instincts…as far as we know. But that doesn’t mean all the changes that these documents were and are a part of aren’t important. “It’s just a piece of paper” is an incredibly cynical way to look at written documents that embody or symbolize human liberty and freedom. Some call that cynicism “being real”. But, if “being real” is a goal, then what is the end point of it?

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  A tad simplistic. As with evolution being a many-branched bush and not a ladder of progress – the sort of thing depicted in junior high science classes in the 1950s – social and cultural change over time is not advancement, it’s just change.

                  As with temporary biological success in nature, “progress” is easily lost, something illustrated by the intertwined histories of feminism and the social by safety net since LBJ. Battles we thought were won are being refought many times. That also illustrates the elephant in the living room: when we define “progress,” who and what ends do we have in mind?

                  • John Lehman says:

                    A “tad”? No, no…very simplistic.
                    What could be more simplistic than holding hands around the campfire singing kumbaya? A song attributed to the Gullah people of South Carolina by the way.

                    That elephant in the room? Defining progress?

                    Defining progress is also simple. How we’re contributing to the development of World Peace.

                    The extremely difficult part is actually establishing a just world peace.

                    • earlofhuntingdon says:

                      Polite understatement is lost on you. As you admit, then, you hold a very simplistic worldview. It’s not a compliment.

                  • John Lehman says:

                    “you hold a very simplistic worldview. It’s not a compliment.”

                    Fool on the Hill…..

                    “sees the sun going down and the eyes in his head sees the world turning round…”

                    In awe and wonder at the very mystery of existence…the mystery of being…..has never been defined for me yet.

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