When we look at the grand tapestry of events that have played out over the course of the last few months of American history, we see layer upon layer of political posturing and positioning, with views ranging from the extreme to the mundane.
For a vast majority of us, our political beliefs remain within a spectrum of safety, no matter how much we may disagree with one another. Sure, there may be some fiery language exchanged via social media, and more than a few friendships have been strained or scuttled on account of these boiling tensions, but very few of us belong to the extremist cults that exist on the far ends of the political landscapes.
In these dark corners we find find Antifa’s “black bloc” on the left, and the white supremacist-linked “boogaloo” movement on the right – the latter of which was named after a popular movie sequel and refers to the idea that a second American Civil War is not only on the way, but necessary.
This week it was revealed that a jailed cop killer in California has been identified as a part of this extremist movement.
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Federal prosecutors filed murder and other charges against Travis Air Force Sgt. Steven Carrillo in the shooting death of Federal Protective Service officer Dave Underwood, who was killed in a hail of gunfire during a night of George Floyd unrest on May 29 while he stood watch over Oakland’s federal building.
Carrillo was already in custody in Santa Cruz County jail for the special enhancement murder of Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller and the attempted murder of several other deputies in an ambush on June 6th in the mountain community of Ben Lomond. The charges carry with them the possibility of death sentence.
Here’s where it gets scary:
The evidence linking the two crimes was a white 1992 Ford Cargo van. U.S. Attorney David Anderson said the same van was used in both crimes. An AR-15 rifle recovered at the Santa Cruz crime scene was used in both shootings. Federal officials described the AR-15 as a ‘ghost weapon’ — a gun self-built from parts and not purchased from a manufacturer.
An armored vest also discovered in a vehicle belonging to Carrillo contained a distinct patch and slogans scrolled in what is believed to be Carrillo’s blood on a vehicle carjacked during the Santa Cruz ambush linked the suspected gunman to the Boogaloo Movement — a right-wing extremist group that harbors a mistrust of law enforcement and government, and anticipates a second American Civil War, referred to as the “boogaloo.”
The “boogaloo” and “black bloc” groups were largely believed to be responsible for the uptick in violence that occurred at night during recent protests stemming from George Floyd’s death, as both loose-knit organizations appear hellbent on sowing chaos in the streets of the United States.
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