The man President Joe Biden wants to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has made false statements about the 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.
During a 2019 “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit, a user self-identified as David Chipman falsely claimed that members of the sect had shot down two helicopters during the Waco massacre.
“At Waco, cult members used 2 .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters,” he wrote. “Point, it is true we are fortunate they are not used in crime more often.”
As noted in the New York Post, it is largely known that Branch Davidian members did indeed shoot at helicopters, however, none were shot down.
Further, no Barretts were recovered at the scene of the massacre.
“Although all of the three helicopters sustained damage from weapons fire, none of the National Guard crews or ATF aboard were injured,” a 1996 House report on the incident concluded.
Four ATF agents and 82 Branch Davidian members died in the 51-day siege.
In the same Reddit thread, Chipman defended the FBI’s role in the Waco disaster.
“I worked for the government for 25 years and I understand how trust in government has been harmed. Please remember, however, that it was agents on the ground who let the public know the truth about these incidents when some sought to cover-up inconvenient truths,” he wrote.
Philadelphia’s health commissioner has resigned after admitting he improperly cremated the remains of victims of a 1985 bombing, Mayor Jim Kenney announced Thursday.
Kenney said he was “disturbed” when he learned that the commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, “made a decision to cremate and dispose of” the remains from the bombing ordered by Philadelphia officials 36 years ago of a home whose inhabitants belonged to a revolutionary group called MOVE.
The bombing killed 11 people, including five children, and sparked a fire that spread and destroyed dozens of homes in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood.
Kenney said in a news conference Thursday that an investigation was underway to find out more about what happened to the remains, adding that they had been described as “bone fragments” and were thought to have been cremated in 2017.
“This action lacked empathy for the victims and their families,” Kenney said, adding that he asked Farley to resign effective immediately. Another official was placed on leave, and Dr. Cheryl Bettigole will serve as acting health commissioner, Kenney said.
Let’s start with a number: 262 million. That’s the number of unarmed people the late Prof. R. J. Rummel estimated governments murdered in mass killings he termed “democide” during the 20th century. “This democide murdered 6 times more people than died in combat in all the foreign and internal wars of the century,” he wrote.
Unsurprisingly, the bloodiest body count was run up by totalitarian regimes, though authoritarians were busy stacking up the corpses, too, if in smaller piles. Democracies were also responsible for unjustifiable deaths, especially in subduing resistance in their colonial possessions (think: Belgian Congo) and in indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets during wars (think: Hiroshima), but to a far lesser degree than Communists, Nazis, and overdecorated generalissimos.
Lionel Morris, 39, made the poor decision to remove a toy drone from its packaging in a grocery store in an alleged attempt to steal it. These actions most assuredly should have come with some consequences but it should never have been a death sentence. When multiple officers from the Conway Police Department showed up to the call, however, minutes later, Morris’ life would be over.
Body camera and surveillance footage from that fateful day on February 4, 2020 has just been released this week showing this man’s final moments alive. Morris took the last breaths he would ever take with multiple police officer combat boots and a knee on his back.
His last coherent words were “I can’t breathe.”