Hello everyone, long time no newsletter! Hope nobody missed it too much.
Quick housekeeping: I wanna direct people to these updates on our TikTok dog cop Arlo, from Martín Bilbao at the Olympian and Akela Lacey at the Intercept. Long story short: just as we suspected, the cops did shoot Arlo. In fact, they knew they shot Arlo the whole time, because the suspect that they were shooting at was carrying a gun with no bullets. Then they raked in $70,000 in donations and sold Arlo merch anyway. Hahahahahahha!
Also, I talked about the broader psychosis that powers cop posters everywhere with Hussein Kesvani and Phoebe Roy for their podcast Ten Thousand Posts, which I highly recommend you all check out if you like to laugh.
Okay, promo done! I’ve got a wild one for you all this week, brought to my attention thanks to a reader tip—I cannot stress enough how much I love it when you all reach out to me via firstname.lastname@example.org!!!!—about far right militia activity in central California’s Solano County Sheriff’s Office.
Most of the material here comes from investigative journalist Scott Morris writing for Open Vallejo. You MUST read his initial reporting from February here and the follow-up coverage from March here… after you read my post, duh. Think of this as a little TL;WRL (too long, will read later) of Morris’s work.
This is a story about how Chris Pratt—yes, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ miserable ‘Jurassic Park’ reboot stupid loser on ‘Parks and Rec’ Chris Pratt—kiiind of exposed his brother, a Solano County sergeant, as a far right militia dude by promoting that brother’s woodworking Instagram account to his fans. (The reader who reached out to me titled their email ‘All cops are crafters?’ which… they kind of are!)
On said Instagram account, Pratt openly posed with a gun rack he crafted, featuring the logo used by a nationwide, ideologically linked group of far-right extremist militias called the Three Percenters (or III%ers… I’m gonna the former). After sifting through the cop Pratt’s social media circle, Morris caught two more men affiliated with the sheriff’s office prominently posting the same logo and professing the same beliefs on their social media accounts.
One, deputy Dale Matsuoka, still works as the county’s homeless outreach coordinator. The other, Roy Stockton, is a sergeant-turned-city council member in Vacaville, a city in Solano County. Stockton actually made his own Three Percenter handicrafts: metal, snake-shaped bottle openers that he calls “Gaddys,” after the snake on the Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. (More on these later!)
By the way, these are findings that Solano’s sheriff stated he doesn’t plan on investigating whatsoever in spite of pressure from local, state, and federal officials.
Who the fuck are the Three Percenters?
Three Percenters are a loose network of far right militias nationwide, so-named because of a (false) belief that only three percent of the American colonists fought back during the Revolutionary War, which is such a fucking loser-ass “fact” to cling onto. Per the Southern Poverty Law Center, Three Percenters fall under the same conspiracy-laced, antigovernment umbrella as Oath Keepers and sovereign citizens. Their big thing is the right to have a shitload of guns, and the right to use them against the government when their rights—like the right to have a lot of guns, or the right overthrow the government—get “infringed” on. Even though they’ve got those dorky APUSH roots, they’ve also got a big presence in Canada (???).
According to a profile on the group from Political Research Associates:
The Three Percenters have shown up at almost all of the major Patriot movement standoffs and armed camps in recent years, including the Bundy Ranch confrontation with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agents in Nevada in April 2014; a Josephine County, Oregon dispute between miners and the BLM in April 2015; and a Lincoln, Montana dispute between miners and the BLM and Forest Service in July 2015. In Idaho, they have mobilized religious hatred and xenophobic hostility, organizing public rallies against Syrian refugee resettlement.8 The Idaho Three Percenters’ organizing has inspired similar actions in California. Supporters also tried to build a “citadel” in rural Benewah County in the Idaho panhandle.
Officers in Solano County aren’t the only people who’ve been spotted repping the militia in recent memory. See: one of co-conspirators looking to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer; this newly elected Wyoming state representative, who claimed he “got the tattoo because the American Revolution symbolism appealed to me”; and the decal on the truck of a U.S. House of Representatives member’s husband, which happened to be parked at the Capitol on January 6. Hmmm! Basically, these are some bad, bad boys who love big guns and hate being told how to use them—not exactly the ideal law enforcer, huh! (As if there is one...)
Understandably, the revelation that there are three people comfortable enough to post paramilitary shit on public profiles working in this sheriff’s office (after all, how many more do belong but don’t post?) freaked a lot of people out. Local residents and activists, local electeds, state assembly members, and two members of Congress have since called for an investigation into the extremist beliefs apparently thriving in the Solano County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Tom Ferrera’s response? “I want to be clear — the employees targeted in this article all serve this agency and this community with passion and dedication,” Ferrera said in a statement. “The employees told me that their intention was to support the 2nd amendment and the U.S. Constitution.” LMAO!
Bald Pratt, for his part, also issued a statement in response to the reporting, which I’ll include with some context from Morris:
Pratt said that in 2016, when he posted a photo of the gun rack he made for Stockton with the hashtag “#3percenter,” he believed the Three Percenter movement was “strictly in support of the 2nd Amendment and Pro-American — not in any way extremist anti-government views.” Earlier that year, Three Percenter groups participated in an armed standoff with federal authorities in Oregon that left one man dead.
“I am disheartened that a photo taken in 2016 is now being used to link my family name to a radical attack on the US Capitol in 2021 and disparage work that I have done in the community trying to bring folks together,” Pratt’s statement read. Pratt first posted photos of the gun rack in 2016 and periodically reposted it for years, most recently in December 2018.
Sorry, can we take it back to Chris Pratt for a second?
Definitely! I want to be clear: I’m not saying that Chris Pratt’s posts are *the* thing that would have exposed his brother’s beliefs—it’s not like this shit is subtle at all. Cops never are! But in my quasi-professional opinion, I think far-right, extremist ideology doesn’t “infiltrate” law enforcement so much as the guys and gals who explicitly sign up to hurt and kill vulnerable people with near-perfect impunity adopt it as soon as they hear that there are groups whose members want to be able to hurt and kill vulnerable people with perfect impunity. I think this “adoption” happens… a lot! I think it’s extremely compatible with what the police are! As such, I think it needs a little celeb touch to make it “newsworthy,” at least in the eyes of the national press.
Plus, I just think it’s really interesting how one of the most prominent conservatives in Hollywood has a cop brother connected to a far right antigovernment extremist militia. I’m interested by that, because it’s so interesting!
Oh shit, that’s crazy…
I know! It is crazy! There’s not a lot that I can personally add to the Open Vallejo reporting. That being said, I dug up two things worth talking about, especially given the fact that Solano County’s sheriff is willing to shield his officers from any consequences for their posts—or, more importantly, their open support for far right militia activity.
First, there’s the Instagram activity of Tyler Pierce, AKA @tptactical. Pierce is one of just 179 people Pratt currently follows on Instagram—on an account he REMADE after deleting and inexplicably kept PUBLIC—probably because it’s awkward not to follow your coworker on social media. Especially when you’re both so active: Pierce is a sergeant and a K-9 officer with the Solano County Sheriff’s Office who moonlights as a leather worker and shows off his custom goods (mostly holsters and badge wallets) online.
Pierce’s profile is rife with Thin Blue Line fare, plenty of Gadsden flags (OK dude, we get it, you don’t want anyone to tread on you—cool!!), and posts about his K9 Tango, a Belgian Shepherd Malinois. Standard cop shit. There are also a few glimpses of the ideology Pratt, Stockton, and other members of the Solano County Sheriff’s Office have professed online.
Then, there are a couple of glimpses of the signature III% logo, visible on a customized version of Stockton’s s copyright-protected “Gaddy”—as in, again, the Gadsden flag—bottle openers. (At least, I… think it’s a bottle opener.)
There it is!
The second thing I want to point out?
Less than two weeks after Sheriff Ferrera said he wouldn’t investigate extremist activity among his LEOs, a local Fox affiliate ran this story on a goofy TikToker from California who loves sharing her views on “current events” (as in, cancel culture, being a lesbian, the fact that COVID restrictions “don’t make sense,” etc.) with her 210,000 TikTok followers—and get this! When she’s not making content, “the 36-year-old Fairfield native also helps in her community in other ways, as a deputy with the Solano County Sheriff’s Office.”
INTERESTING TIMING FOR THIS GLOWING FLUFF PIECE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! INTERESTING WHAT DOES NOT GET MENTIONED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OVERALL, VERY INTERESTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Blocked and Reported will be back when I have the bandwidth. (Do you guys even like it when I do that? Should I do a newsletter where I just dump a bunch and drop a spreadsheet? Lemme know!)
Questions, comments, corrections? (“You don’t know what it’s like to be a police officer” is not a correction.) Shoot me an email at email@example.com, send “business” “inquiries” to firstname.lastname@example.org, or DM me on Twitter.