NEW: I spoke with the anarcho-punk band bassist currently in jail after a Trump appointee charged him over a bag of weed. He says the FBI special agent who interviewed him back in June didn’t care about the pot, but did question him about Antifa.…
Critically, the images Justin Coffman posted to his band’s Facebook page (that brought him to the FBI’s attention) were photographed BEFORE George Floyd’s death. They were meant for an album cover. The “Molotov cocktail”? Full of apple cider vinegar.…
The charges were announced at at press conference by @USAttyDunavant, who declined an interview request for this story and didn’t respond to a number of questions I emailed. Here he is at a 2018 Trump rally in Tennessee, when he was U.S. Attorney.…
The press release that @USAttyDunavant’s office put out in connection with this case, which was amplified by DOJ HQ, was (at best) misleading, and led to some pretty awful local news coverage.…
“[The FBI special agent] started telling me all these things...‘You don’t seem like a bad guy.’

“He was asking me if I was ‘antifa’ and all that bullshit, which I’m not.”

“There ain’t none of them in Jackson."…
“There are First Amendment implications here, without any doubt,” says @LucianPera. “I don’t understand why anyone is wasting their time on this.”…
It’s unclear what kind of “outstanding investigative work” @USAttyDunavant could be referring to here. Someone complained about a public Facebook post, they raided Coffman’s home and found a bag of weed, then decided they’d charge him months later.…
“It seems like they’re trying to portray him as a terrorist, pretty much... It’s just somebody in a band trying to take a picture, trying to stand up for different communities.”…
Justin Coffman’s cousin, a Republican who is friendly with local law enforcement and says he’s all for “tough love,” thinks the charges are “absurd.”

“They’re throwing the book at him for trying to stand up for what he believes in.”…
Dunavant, previously: “Resistance in opposition to law enforcement is not a legitimate public policy. Police officers are the only thing that stands between law-abiding citizens and anarchy."…
A lot of news coverage of this story was pretty bad. Here’s @USAttyDunavant — during a press conference he held that stemmed from a band’s photoshoot — reassuring the public that the defendant was acting alone.…

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More from @ryanjreilly

16 Oct
AG William Barr attacks “cowardly politicians who do not support their police forces” and “a deceitful national media that seizes on a relatively few incidents to scapegoat police and cultivate a false narrative that our police are systemically evil.”…
Barr: “We have been pouring massive resources for many decades into social programs designed to address the root causes of crime, without much success... the same old failed programs... frequently perpetuate the problems by subsidizing bad behavior or creating deeper dependency.”
AG Barr, at the Major Cities Chiefs Association Conference, claims that “No one is more focused on reducing [instances of excessive force] than the leaders in this room.”

He also claims that instances of “deliberate, cold blooded excessive force are rare and becoming rarer.”
Read 4 tweets
15 Oct
In case you missed it: Here’s how a Facebook photo shoot for an anarchist-themed band led to a marijuana-related federal charge touted by William Barr’s Justice Department:…
Both the federal affidavit and the DOJ press release mention “The Gunpowder Plot” Facebook page without noting that it is a Facebook page for a band, and that this was pretty clearly a staged photoshoot.…
Pretty low-hanging fruit here, with a side of First Amendment implications:…
Read 7 tweets
15 Oct
In which Amy Coney Barrett refuses to confirm her belief in basic Catholic social teaching. (See: Laudato Si)…
TedX speeches are ex cathedra, this is canon.…
“Francis criticized world governments for their ‘very weak’ response to the climate crisis. In June, he issued guidance for carrying out his climate encyclical that included calling on Catholics to divest themselves of investments in fossil fuel companies”…
Read 5 tweets
15 Oct
A bassist in an anarchist rock band drew law enforcement’s attention when he posted a Facebook photoshoot with a mock Molotov cocktail. Had he just been an alcoholic instead of a daily pot user, the feds wouldn’t have anything to charge him with:…
Here’s what the defendant’s band posted days before his home was raided:… Image
The defendant and his band also posted a bunch of memes poking fun at conservative beliefs about Antifa:… ImageImageImageImage
Read 10 tweets
14 Oct
"Edit: Whoever called the feds over this mom’s a hoe”

— Justin Coffman, whose Facebook photoshoot (with a fake Molotov cocktail) led to both federal and state charges.

To recap:

1) A guy in a band called “The Gunpowder Plot” posted a Facebook photoshoot with a fake Molotov cocktail.

2) Cops raided his home and found his guns and some pot.

3) The pot triggers a federal charge, and a bunch of state charges too.… ImageImage
"COFFMAN also admitted to smoking 1-2 grams of marijuana per day..."

And with that, they made a federal case out of it.… Image
Read 4 tweets
6 Oct
A lot of people are going to send out bad tweets about this. Don’t be one of them. There’s far too little accountability for crimes committed against people in jail.…
This isn’t a “bad apples” story. You had two 21-year-old corrections officers torturing inmates and a 50-year-old supervisor who did nothing about it. Points to a broken culture and major systemic issues.…
"The inmates was forced to stand the entire time, hands cuffed behind them and secured to the wall… Some inmates were in the room as long as two hours.”…
Read 4 tweets

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