Connect with us

National

Marshall “satisfied” actions taken by police in Huntsville were “reasonable”

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) voiced his support Thursday for law enforcement in Huntsville.

As has been widely reported, the Huntsville Police Department used tear gas Wednesday evening to disperse a crowd of protesters. Given the infrequency with which this tool is employed, the attorney general said he believed that it was his duty to examine what necessitated its use.

“The appropriateness of police actions must always be judged by the circumstances in which they occur,” Marshall said. “After talking with the Huntsville Police Department and the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, I am well-satisfied that the actions taken by police were reasonable under the circumstances.”

“After a peaceful protest, hosted by the local chapter of the NAACP — which abided by the law and should not be blamed for what came after — hundreds of hostile demonstrators ignored multiple requests by law enforcement to leave the area,” Marshall said. “Rather than leaving, those demonstrators put on gear and readied for battle.”

“After an hour and a half of warnings and with daylight dwindling, law enforcement dispersed the crowd with the least amount of force possible and using no lethal weapons,” Marshall said. “This, despite the fact that the crowd was found to have backpacks full of weapons and spray paint, and which attacked officers with rocks and bottles full of frozen water.”

“Alabama is fortunate in that most protests taking place in recent days have been conducted peacefully,” Marshall said. “At the same time, over the last 10 days—and even as we speak—law enforcement intelligence from around our state indicates the intent of some to infiltrate protests with violence, property damage, and targeting of law enforcement officers.”

Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray defended the tactics employed by his department and Madison County Sheriff Kevin Turner against the protestors.

ADVERTISEMENT

“They set the precedent,” McMurray said. “They set the guidelines. They wanted to go hand to hand at that time. We do not want to go hand to hand with any citizen.”

McMurray said that he and the Madison County sheriff acted within their authority to declare the gathering an unlawful assembly.

“We showed patience for 90 minutes, and we knew dark was coming,” Turner said. “We didn’t want anything to happen to our downtown area. We did not want anything happening to that courthouse.”

McMurray blamed “outside anarchists” for needing to use tear gas, though all of the arrests made Wednesday were of Madison County residents.

Public Service Announcement

“The anarchists who came prepared and armed, they’re now going to another city to do the exact same thing,” the chief said. “They know how not to get arrested.”

“You could tell there was a fine line of the people that was in that park and the people that was on the square,” Sheriff Turner said.

McMurray said that two officers were hurt with minor injuries but were back to work on Thursday.

Authorities claim that by acting decisively they were able to avoid a riots or destruction.

The Attorney General’s Office announced that it has zero tolerance for aggressive acts against law enforcement and that taking the life of a law enforcement officer carries the penalty of death in Alabama.

Attempting to take the life of a law enforcement officer will guarantee prolonged incarceration of up to 99 years. Marshall promised to personally oversee the prosecution of any such perpetrator, in any judicial circuit of this state, if necessary, to ensure maximum punishment.

(Original reporting by WHNT TV News contributed to this report.)

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with over nine years at Alabama Political Reporter. During that time he has written 8,297 articles for APR. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

Advertisement

Congress

SPLC responds to arrest of man carrying Confederate flag inside U.S. Capitol

Kevin Seefried and his son, Hunter, face multiple charges connected with their alleged part in the deadly Capitol riot,

Eddie Burkhalter

Published

on

Widely shared images of a white man carrying a Confederate flag across the floor of the U.S. Capitol during last week’s deadly attempted insurrection is a jarring reminder of the treasonous acts that killed more than 750,000 Americans during the Civil War, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

“Just as defeated Confederate soldiers were forced to surrender the Civil War and end their inhumane treatment of Black people, the rioter who brazenly carried a Confederate flag into the Capitol has been forced to surrender to federal authorities,” said Lecia Brooks, chief of staff at the Southern Poverty Law Center, in a statement Friday following the arrests of Kevin Seefried, 51, and his 23-year-old son Hunter.

Seefried, the Baltimore man allegedly seen in those photographs carrying the Confederate flag, and his son are charged with entering a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Hunter is also charged with destroying government property.

“Incited by the President’s disinformation campaign, the rioter’s decision to brazenly roam the halls of Congress clinging to this painful symbol of white supremacy was a jarring display of boundless white privilege,” Brooks’s statement reads. “Despite the revisionist history promoted by enthusiasts, his disgraceful display is proof that the Confederate flag clearly represents hate, not heritage.”

Brooks added:

 “Over 750,000 American lives were lost because of the Confederacy’s treasonous acts. We cannot allow more blood to be shed for efforts to split our Union. January’s immoral coup attempt is an embarrassment to the United States, and we call on the federal government to prosecute these insurrectionists to the fullest extent of the law.”

ADVERTISEMENT

An affidavit detailing the charges states that videos taken during the riot show both Seefrieds enter the Capitol building through a broken window, that Hunter helped break, at about 2:13 p.m.

Both men on Jan. 12 voluntarily talked with FBI agents and admitted to their part in the riots, according to court records. 

The elder Seefreid told the FBI agent that he traveled to the rally to hear Trump speak and that he and his son joined the march and were “led by an individual with a bull horn.” 

There were numerous pro-Trump attendees at the rally and march to the Capitol who had bull horns, according to multiple videos taken that day, but at the front of one of the largest groups of marchers with a bull horn was far-right radio personality Alex Jones, who was walking next to Ali Alexander, organizer of the Stop the Steal movement. 

Public Service Announcement

Alexander in three separate videos has said he planned the rally, meant to put pressure on Congress voting inside the Capitol that day, with Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, and Arizona U.S. Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs. Alexander is now in hiding, according to The Daily Beast

Congressman Brooks’s spokesman told APR on Tuesday that Brooks does not remember communicating with Alexander. 

“Congressman Brooks has no recollection of ever communicating in any way with whoever Ali Alexander is. Congressman Brooks has not in any way, shape or form coordinated with Ali Alexander on the January 6th ‘Save America’ rally,” the statement from the congressman’s spokesman reads. 

Jones and Alexander can be seen leading the march in a video taken and posted to Twitter by freelance journalist Raven Geary. 

“This is history happening. We’re not giving into globalists. We’ll never surrender,” Jones yells into his bullhorn as they marched toward the Capitol. 

Continue Reading

Congress

Tuberville says Trump admitted to “mistake” over deadly Capitol riot. He hasn’t

Trump has not admitted to any responsibility in the attack on the U.S. Capitol last week.

Eddie Burkhalter

Published

on

In this July 14, 2020, file photo, Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville speaks at a campaign event in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, in his first media appearance in Alabama as a senator on Wednesday, was asked his thoughts about the possibility of impeaching President Donald Trump, which happened later that day. He said Trump admitted to making a “mistake” and that it was time to move on. 

Trump has not admitted to any responsibility in the attack on the U.S. Capitol last week that left at least five dead, including a Capitol police officer and a woman who was shot by police while attempting to climb through a broken window inside the Capitol. Two others, including an Alabama man, died from “medical emergencies” while on Capitol grounds during the riot. 

“He made a mistake. He said he made a mistake. That’s not, to me, not an impeachable offense,” Tuberville told reporters outside of St. Vincent’s Hospital in downtown Birmingham, according to WSFA. “He’s got one week to go from today. We’ll have a new president in President Biden. We need to go on with life. I mean, to me, you know, when you understand you made mistakes and admitted. You forgive. You go on.” 

Questions to a Tuberville staffer on Thursday regarding Tuberville’s comments Wednesday were received, but APR had not received responses as of Thursday evening. 

Trump was impeached for a second time — a first in U.S. history for any president — on Wednesday. With 10 Republicans joining Democrats in voting to impeach a Republican president, it was the most bipartisan impeachment in American history.

“Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” Trump tweeted in December. The House cited that and similar remarks in charging Trump with inciting an insurrection.

In the moments before the riot last week, Trump told the crowd of supporters assembled near the Capitol: “We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“If you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Trump said to the crowd. Toward the end of his speech, Trump encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol. 

“You’ll never take back our country with weakness,” Trump said. “You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”

“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,” Trump said. 

Instead of walking to the Capitol with his supporters, Trump returned to the White House where he watched the violence unfold on live television from the West Wing, according to The Washington Post

Public Service Announcement

Senators and members of the House, including Tuberville and Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, were bunkered down inside the Capitol as rioters broke into the building, smashing windows, beating police officers and threatening others to stand aside and let them enter further into the building, where the lawmakers were being protected by police. 

Despite attempts by some to get Trump to call off his supporters, Trump wasn’t reachable for a time as he watched the violence unfold on television, according to The Washington Post. 

“It took him a while to appreciate the gravity of the situation,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, to the newspaper. Graham, also being protected at the time inside the Capitol, called Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, but couldn’t get through to the president. 

“The president saw these people as allies in his journey and sympathetic to the idea that the election was stolen,” Graham told the newspaper. 

At 1:26 p.m. local time, the day of the attack, Trump supporters broke into the Capitol, according to a timeline of events by The Wire. Vice President Mike Pence is escorted out of the Senate chamber at 2:22 p.m. and a short time later Trump tweets an attack on Pence for not intervening on Trump’s behalf as Electoral College votes were being certified. (Pence has — rightfully — said he did not have the legal authority to so.)

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” Trump tweeted as his supporters continued the siege. 

At 2:38 p.m. Trump tweets: “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!” 

Nearly 45 minutes later, Trump tweets again: “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!” 

Shortly after 2 p.m. Trump mistakenly called Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, while trying to reach Tuberville, according to CNN. Lee handed his cellphone to Tuberville. Both men were in a temporary holding room, having been evacuated from the Senate floor, according to CNN. 

“Tuberville spoke with Trump for less than 10 minutes, with the President trying to convince him to make additional objections to the Electoral College vote in a futile effort to block Congress’ certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win, according to a source familiar with the call,” CNN reported. “The call was cut off because senators were asked to move to a secure location.” 

President-elect Joe Biden in a video posted at 4:06 p.m., more than two hours after the siege began, pleaded with Trump to call for peace. At 4:17 p.m., Trump released a video to Twitter in which he continued to allege the election was stolen from him. 

“I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. … So go home. We love you, you’re very special…I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace,” Trump said. 

A second call to Lee at 7 p.m. came from Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, according to a recording of the voicemail. Giuliani believed he was also calling Tuberville. 

“I’m calling you because I want to discuss with you how they’re trying to rush this hearing and how we need you, our Republican friends, to try to just slow it down so we can get these legislatures to get more information to you,” Giuliani said, according to the recording. “I know they’re reconvening at 8 tonight, but it … the only strategy we can follow is to object to numerous states and raise issues so that we get ourselves into tomorrow — ideally until the end of tomorrow.”

Speaking Tuesday at a section of the border wall with Mexico in Texas, Trump took no responsibility for the violence at the Capitol.

“People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump said.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, speaking on the House floor before his vote against impeachment, said Trump was responsible for the violence.

“The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding,” McCarthy said.

Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, spoke before her vote about being on the House floor when rioters broke into the Capitol.  

“I rise today to support impeachment. I do so with a heavy heart and a lasting and searing memory of being in this gallery, the people’s House, right up there, fearing for my life,” Sewell said, pointing to where she and other representatives hid from rioters during the siege. “And why? Because the President of the United States incited others to be violent. A mob of insurgency, in this House. It’s unacceptable, it led to the killing of five Americans.  Blood is on this house. We must do something about it. I ask we move from ‘stopping the steal’ to to healing, but healing requires accountability, and everyone must be accountable.” 

Continue Reading

National

Shelby praises U.S. Space Command HQ decision

Shelby has advocated for the selection of Redstone Arsenal for the U.S. Space Command headquarters.

Staff

Published

on

By

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby speaks on the U.S. Senate floor.

Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its subcommittee on defense, on Wednesday praised the Air Force’s selection of Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville as the permanent location for the U.S. Space Command headquarters, following a two-year competition for the decision.

Shelby said:

“Redstone Arsenal will be the new home to U.S. Space Command.  This is outstanding news, not only for our state but also for the Air Force.  This long-awaited decision by the Air Force is a true testament to all that Alabama has to offer.  Huntsville is the right pick for a host of reasons – our skilled workforce, proximity to supporting space entities, cost-effectiveness, and quality of life, among other things.  I am thrilled that the Air Force has chosen Redstone and look forward to the vast economic impact this will have on Alabama and the benefits this will bring to the Air Force.”

Shelby has advocated for the selection of Redstone Arsenal for the U.S. Space Command headquarters throughout the competition, having continually highlighted to the Air Force the wide-ranging benefits that Huntsville would provide, if selected.

Selection criteria for the U.S. Space Command headquarters include installation capacity, cost and timing, future U.S. Space Command components and Department of Defense space installations. 

Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville meets many of the needs for the U.S. Space Command headquarters, including significant cost savings, qualified workforce, vast industrial base and expertise, and many support agencies currently located on the Arsenal. Huntsville is ranked fourth among top metro areas for STEM occupations and is well-known nationally as one of the top cities for engineers. Additionally, the Redstone region employs one of the highest number of DoD acquisition experts, and local schools and universities supply a high percentage of entry-level talent.

The industrial base surrounding Redstone is vibrant with more than 400 aerospace and defense technology companies. Many of these companies are situated in Cummings Research Park, the second-largest research park in the country and located directly adjacent to the Redstone Federal Campus. The region has long held a position of national leadership in space and rocket research, development, manufacturing, operations and maintenance which is recognized and sustained to this day.

ADVERTISEMENT

U.S. Space Command was established in August 2019 and is DOD’s eleventh unified combatant command. Its mission is to better advance the Department of Defense’s military operations in space.

Continue Reading

News

President Trump impeached for second time, a first in U.S. history

The U.S. Senate is not likely to take the impeachment matter up until after President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Eddie Burkhalter

Published

on

Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, speaking before her vote Wednesday.

For the first time in U.S. history, the House voted to impeach a president for a second time. Ten Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday, charging him with inciting an insurrection.

No Republicans voted to impeach Trump during his first impeachment. Wednesday’s bipartisan vote signaled widespread concern over Trump’s actions leading up to, during and after the deadly Capitol riot that has left at least five dead. All of Alabama’s Republican congressmen voted against impeachment, while Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, voted for the resolution.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, this week left the door open for a Senate conviction — which would be another first in U.S. history — but the Senate vote likely won’t happen until after President-elect Joe Biden takes office. 

“The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding,” said House minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, speaking on the House floor before his vote, saying that he was against impeachment. He voted as such. 

“Some say the riots were caused by antifa. There’s absolutely no evidence of that, and conservatives should be the first to say so,” McCarthy said. 

The attack on the Capitol left one Capitol Police officer dead and one Trump supporter, who attempted to enter a broken window inside the Capitol, shot and killed by police. Three others, including an Alabama man, died from “medical emergencies” while on Capitol grounds. 

Trump told the crowd of supporters assembled before the Capitol riot: “We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

“If you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Trump told the crowd, and towards the end of his speech Trump encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol. 

“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,” Trump said. 

Speaking Tuesday during a visit to Texas to a section of the border wall with Mexico, Trump denied any responsibility in the deadly riot. 

“The impeachment hoax is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country and is causing tremendous anger and division and pain, far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the U.S.A., especially at this very tender time,” Trump said. 

Public Service Announcement

Trump declined to immediately tell his supporters to stop the rioting last Wednesday, but did eventually address the rioters that afternoon, telling them in a video message to “go home” and “We love you. You’re very special.” 

“President Trump betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the insurrection we suffered last week. With a heavy heart, I will vote to impeach President Donald J. Trump,” Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Michigan, said in a tweet before his vote to impeach. 

Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, spoke before her vote about being on the House floor when rioters broke into the Capitol.  

“I rise today to support impeachment. I do so with a heavy heart and a lasting and searing memory of being in this gallery, the people’s House, right up there, fearing for my life,” Sewell said, pointing to where she and other representatives hid from rioters during the siege. “And why? Because the President of the United States incited others to be violent. A mob of insurgency, in this House. It’s unacceptable, it led to the killing of five Americans.  Blood is on this house. We must do something about it. I ask we move from ‘stopping the steal’ to to healing, but healing requires accountability, and everyone must be accountable.” 

Rep. Barry Moore, R-Alabama, was the only other Alabama representative to speak before the vote, and said he asked his staff Wednesday morning how many U.S. presidents have been impeached in history. 

“They said up until this president, only two times in our nation’s history,” Moore said. “So here we are, seven days left in his first term, and we’re going to impeach a president. For what reasons? For what reasons? There have been no hearings. There have been no committees. We must defend the right and protect the process of impeachment. If we pursue this, from now on, from this day forward, impeachment will always be a political process. I asked my friends across the aisle, they always talk about healing. Healing. How do we come together as a nation?  Since 2016 there has been hashtags going around that said ‘not our president. Resit, resist.’ Members across the aisle have said things in public to have supporters of this president attacked and demeaned.”

The Senate could vote to bar Trump from running for and holding federal office in the future.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement