One of the oldest criminal defenses on earth is, obviously, “blame the victim.” Everyone knows the sickest situations in which the defense arises. But it very seldom comes from an ex-cop going after another cop with a flag pole. Yet here we are.
There is new video out that shows Thomas Webster, a fifty-four-year-old Marine Corps veteran, and former New York City police officer, using some NYPD language at the Capitol Police officers, while hitting at least one of them with a flagpole before he terrifyingly tackled the officer with the body cam.
But, again, his defense attorneys are claiming that it actually isn’t Webster’s fault because the Capitol Police Officer taunted them and goaded the crowd. The crowd might want to check in with the black community about being taunted and goaded. Regardless, a guy has to have a defense and this is the one he picked. From a court filing picked by Rawstory as reported by MSNBC:
Showing little regard for the peaceful protesters present, Officer N.R. can be seen reaching over the metal barrier and pushing a peaceful male protester wearing a maroon sweatshirt who was blinded by pepper spray. Officer N.R. can also be observed mocking several protesters who were complaining about this Officer’s excessive use of force.”
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To the extent that the Capitol Police officer taunted the crowd, he was in the wrong. But again, go out and get into a verbal fight with a local police officer, see what that officer says, then try swinging something and tackling him. See how you do. We suspect Webster will have a similar experience in court. But again, a guy has to say something or plead guilty.
As MSNBC’s Scott McFarlane told Morning Joe:
“He’s going to argue that the officer is responsible, that the officer was mocking the protesters, that the officer changed peaceful protesters into un-peaceful protesters by using chemical spray and that he was making provocative hand gestures. We look back into Thomas Webster’s FBI file. He’s not only a former NYPD police officer, he worked the City Hall beat during the [Rudy] Giuliani administration, from 1992 through 2011.”
Lovely. The fact that he’s former NYPD will actually hurt him in the criminal charges. He is supposed to be the one who has had training in conflict resolution, talking things down, etc. Conflict resolution does fck all good when the person involved is seeking a conflict, which is what Webster, and the MAGAs were after. Congress wasn’t going to slow down without that conflict. Webster helped out the cause and prosecutors will point that out.
(Warning – language) pic.twitter.com/xI2MEc9aQR
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) June 18, 2021