Concord Police Chief Regrets FSP, ONH Language

Mother Jones has followed up on the story reported here about the controversy over the city of Concord’s acquisition of a Bearcat armored truck. The Concord police chief has this to say about the language of the grant citing the Free State Project and Occupy New Hampshire as potential sources of domestic terrorism:

While the sovereign citizens movement has a history of racism and violence, Police Chief John Duval now says that he doesn’t actually believe the Free State Project or Occupy New Hampshire are domestic terror threats. “I wish I would have worded things different in retrospect,” he says. “I understand why their eyebrows are raised about that.” He chalks up the wording to the limitations of writing a detailed proposal in only three pages and says it was meant to refer to the “unpredictable nature of unpredictable people who attach themselves to otherwise lawful situations.”

Duval has no plans to issue a formal apology, but he has exchanged emails with Carla Gericke, president of the Free State Project, to explain his position, which he has also attempted to clarify with local reporters.


6 thoughts on “Concord Police Chief Regrets FSP, ONH Language

  1. “While the sovereign citizens movement has a history of racism and violence”

    Looks like a throwaway line – did the chief say this, did the writer simply assert it – that is rather incendiary. Is there a factual basis for this statement?

    1. That’s from the writer. I can’t recall many incidents of violence associated with “sovereign citizens,” although fraud has been more common (Montana Freemen, for instance). The Republic of Texas kidnappings in the late 90s come to mind.

      1. The underlying mindset of these arguments and the actions by some in the law enforcement community are seriously militaristic. Have you followed Radley Balko’s writings on the militarization of the domestic police force? “Rise of the Warrior Cop” is fascinating and disturbing.

  2. Sorry, but I’m not satisfied. They still don’t need a Bearcat—no matter how much fun they think it might be—and he needs to state unequivocally that the FSPers have given no indication whatsoever of domestic terrorism and thus cannot be used in any way as a justification for anti-terrorism military equipment or tactics.

    One gets the feeling that these people just like playing with these supercool toys—they’ve played so much Dungeons and Dragons and Call of Duty, and now they get to do it for real!—that they’ll use any pretense they can to enable them to do so.

    1. Absolutely insufficient, but it shows he’s feeling the heat. My understanding is that the FSP is taking legal consultations.

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