by Travis Mateer
First, I think it’s important to say GOOD JOB to the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office for doing something I have never seen done before, and that’s admit they were wrong IN REAL TIME to deescalate what they unnecessarily escalated in the first place.
Sure, it would be easy to just bash them for the insanity of what you’re about see, but I think the fact this man, who stood his ground under intense pressure and was NOT shot and killed, is evidence that the scrutiny Mineral County has been under with the hammer of Mandamus has had some kind of an effect.
Now, here are the videos, totaling close to an hour of standoff footage. I suggest watching ALL of it.
I am publicizing this standoff ASAP because the man who was targeted is still very worried about his safety. I know this because I spoke briefly with a family member this morning, and the man is essentially in hiding and worried that he’s being “hunted”. I think that’s entirely possible.
The family member I spoke to did NOT like the idea of talking to a journalist from Missoula at first, expressing immediate uncertainty that I could be trusted. My response? Good, you CANNOT just trust people because you HOPE they’re trustworthy–you gotta verify that shit–so that’s what I would expect a worried parent will do as he’s hoping law enforcement isn’t going to find and kill his son.
Why did this standoff start in the first place? As you listen, it sounds like the Forrest Service put this man on the Mineral County Sheriff’s radar for camping on public land. Why? Did he overstay his welcome? In the current climate of allowing URBAN campers to do whatever the fuck they want, what the hell could this man have been doing to warrant such a response?
Another thing this man says in the videos, which caught my attention, is his theory that the law enforcement he’s facing down are “Chinese assets”. With recent arrests for sex work, including the arrest of a Chinese national, and this little culture war we seem to be embroiled in with our geopolitical adversaries (which includes drug and human trafficking), I don’t balk at the claim coming from a man who is VERY lucky to still be alive.
For some context on lethal cop standoffs, Missoula has had a few recently, like when the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office killed a man last February at a gas station, which came after the summer “officer involved shooting” involving LOTS of LE jurisdictions out near the airport.
I don’t like this at all, and hope this man stays safe.
To increase MY safety, I’m working on a post that will be scheduled pretty far out in the future, and it will contain lots of things I CANNOT currently write about. Since it will be pre-scheduled, if something were to happen to me, the post will post, regardless of whether I’m still breathing or not.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the Week in Review!