Complicating The Narrative Of WHITE MAN detains BLACK TEEN in Missoula

by William Skink

On Saturday I listened to an interview with the BLM protestor who was unlawfully detained by a group of people in a downtown Missoula alleyway on June 5th. The interview was a featured part of Saturday’s BLM protest, blasting from car windows as both KBGA 89.9 and 105.5 played it on a loop.

A few days ago I wrote about how the Missoulian and the Missoula Current differed in their reporting of this incident. The Missoulian is trying to push a simplistic narrative of WHITE MAN detains BLACK TEEN, while the Missoula Current told a more nuanced narrative.

One of the details NOT included in the Missoulian coverage is the fact a BLM organizer was one of the people confronting this teen. According to the victim’s own words, after the white man with a gun asked him if he was a Nazi, the BLM organizer (armed with the camera on his phone) allegedly told the teen he had to show his face.

Instead of complying with this bullshit demand from a BLM organizer, the teen fled the alley toward the courthouse, where someone tripped him (another evil white man?) and then cops arrested him, warning him they would “break his fucking fingers” if he resisted.

While I don’t condone the behavior of the vigilantes or law enforcement, I also don’t appreciate this attempt by local BLM activists to depict this incident as one that occurred because the teen was targeted due to his skin color, because I don’t think that is what happened.

At the time this incident occurred, there were rumors flying around that people from Spokane or Idaho were coming to Missoula to cause trouble, and not Antifa types, but possibly Neo-Nazi types. In a post I wrote about the protests on June 3rd, I said this about the coordination between law enforcement and protest organizers:

The biggest reason it’s a good thing protestors and cops are speaking peacefully with each other now is because a baseline of local protest has been established, so if and when outside elements try to pull some shady shit, both sides of our local protest/cop divide will hopefully be ready.

There is concern outside groups from Spokane and/or Idaho could be coming to cause trouble.

If the teen was targeted because he was black, as he claims and the Missoulian insinuates with its race-baiting headline, then why did the man with the gun ask him if he was a Nazi? And why was a BLM organizer present with a camera escalating the confrontation? And why did this organizer assume he had the right to demand this teen expose his face?

The teen was wearing a hoodie, glasses, and a mask. Before the group demanded he show his face, they wanted to see his hands. Isn’t it more probable they thought he might be someone from outside our community coming to Missoula to cause problems?

After nearly two months, the bad white man with a gun is now facing criminal charges for unlawfully detaining the teen and acting as a security guard without a license, so this teen will have the opportunity to see his alleged assailant face consequences in a court of law.

If the victim of this alleged profiling incident isn’t happy with getting his day in court, he should consider the fact people are literally being murdered in our community and not facing charges, like Johnny Lee Perry, the 29 year old homeless man who killed Sean Stevenson at the Poverello Center in “self defense” earlier this year. And Joshua Paniagua, the 19 year old psychopath who stabbed Ben Mousso 4 times in “self defense” around the same time.

So congratulations, unnamed black teen, because of politics and publicity your case is getting community attention, and if you play your cards right, like that Convington teen did, you might even get a nice payday.

What you WON’T get–because our system is incapable of producing it–is justice. That would require having a fair, impartial criminal justice system.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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2 Responses to Complicating The Narrative Of WHITE MAN detains BLACK TEEN in Missoula

  1. Djinn&Tonic says:

    We have never had a justice system, it’s a legal system. Hasn’t EVER been about JUSTICE.

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