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ANALYSIS: The Covington Catholic Boys Are Victims of the Crime of Assault

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This article will try not to overlap the many other articles published here.  Big League Politics swiftly and strongly reported on an explosion of lies spread against a group of Catholic teenagers, who attended the March for Life wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats.

However, it is now becoming clear that the crime of assault under D.C. Code § 22–404 was committed against the Catholic boys primarily (but not only) by Native American activist Nathan Phillips.  Phillips then massively lied about the incident to local news media. The video proves Phillips lied about every detail.

About a dozen of those angry left-wing activists are guilty of the crime of disorderly conduct under D.C. Code 22-1321 when they left the site of their protest and approached a group of teenage boys visiting D.C. from Covington Catholic school in a threatening manner, and entered into the students’ group to spark a confrontation. “Disorderly conduct” includes the leftists creating the imminent danger of inciting a brawl.

Videos — when not deceptively edited — show the teenage boys respectfully dancing along and singing along with a Native American’s singing and banging of his drum.  They were confronted with the awkward situation of being accosted by leftist protestors.  That is a tense situation for anyone, and the teenagers were obviously uncomfortable.

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These teenagers faced with a tense showdown defused the situation by joining in with the assailants intruding into their midst.   Enthusiastic participation was falsely labeled as “mocking” because the students were male and white.  The boys are guilty of “dancing while white” and “dancing while male.”  Toxic masculinity, of course.

The boys were minding their own business, when several dozen angry left-wing activists approached them in an angry, threatening, intimidating manner.  Native American activist Nathan Phillips then banged a drum within two inches of one teenage boy’s face.

This author is a Virginia — not a District of Columbia — lawyer.  But the crimes of assault (which is distinct from battery) are from the common law going back hundreds of years.  Banging a drum within two inches of someone’s face for several minutes is the crime of assault:

Phillips approached the group of boys, encroached upon one student’s personal space and banged on his drum within about two inches of Nick Sandmann‘s face.  Yet with outstanding and admirable, Gandhi-like restraint and peaceful, non-violence, young Nick Sandmann stood there stoically like a ceremonial guard at Buckingham Palace and did not react while being criminally assaulted by Nathan Phillips.

 D.C. Code § 22–404 Assault or threatened assault in a menacing manner; stalking.

(a)(1) Whoever unlawfully assaults, or threatens another in a menacing manner, shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or be imprisoned not more than 180 days, or both.

* * *

D.C. lawyers David Benowitz explain on their website:

“What is the Definition of Assault?

Generally, “assault” is defined as the threat or use of force on an individual that causes the individual to have a reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact. Assault can be a civil wrong or a crime. Assault offenses are treated seriously in DC.”

Note: Contrary to widespread belief, “battery” is the crime of offensive contact or harmful touching.  “Assault” is intimidation or threat of an imminent battery.  “Assault” does not normally involve any touching, although each State has slightly different laws.  A “battery” almost always includes an “assault” just before a victim gets actually hit.

Many laud Nathan Phillips as a Vietnam Veteran.  Being in the military means being trained to control oneself, not make emotional decisions, and use force responsibly.  Phillips approaching the boys and then “getting in Sandmann’s face” is exactly like a Veteran trying to start a brawl in a bar.  Furthermore, Phillips has done this before, as Big League Politics reported.  Fox2 reported: that Phillips trespassed and harangued Eastern Michigan University students in a similar confrontation.  Thus, in a criminal prosecution, the fact that Phillips understands exactly what he was doing would be significant.

Given Phillips’ level of training in the military, it appears undeniable that Philips, the other Native American activists, and the “Black Hebrew Israelites’ they were protesting with were trying to spark a riot — trying to provoke a fist fight.  They wanted the video of boys wearing MAGA hats fighting with them.  The leftists crowded the teenage boys hoping that the boys lacked the character to resist the provocation.  That’s why there were so many video cameras running.

This is a difficult story to report on, because dozens of video clips were taken of the incident.  And most of those videos are from smart phones which are difficult to share and posted on Twitter which is very poor at allowing videos to be linked to.

As each new view emerges on new video clips, we must re-evaluate what happened.  The rush to judgment, false stories, and character assassination rightly became a story in and of itself.  The false reports breathlessly rushed onto the air, into publication, and on the internet became a new low point in the death of journalism and the rise of despicable “fake news.”

Killing time, the boys had been — with great enthusiasm — loudly chanting their school’s letters, their school’s pep chants, and their school’s song.  They were clearly jazzed by their visit to D.C. and having a good time.  But they were in a group by themselves.

Several (not one) Native American activists protesting with a group that calls itself “Black Hebrew Israelites” walked over to confront the boys.  Locals commenting on the “Black Hebrew Israelites” report that they regularly engage in angry, abusive protests in the District of Columbia.  Even the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that claims to track hate speech in America but usually just attacks conservatives and patriots, calls the Hebrew Israelites a ‘racist and black supremacist’ movement.

Some have falsely claimed that the teenagers were blocking the leftists from going up the stairs from The Reflecting Pool.  However, the videos expose those lies once again.  The teenagers were grouped on the left side (South side of the steps leading up from the reflecting pond to the Lincoln Memorial).  The right side of the steps (North side) were almost clear.  Yet the leftists approached the main concentration of teenagers on the South side.  They did not try to go up the steps where there were almost no students on the North side.

They were looking for confrontation — not to walk up the steps.  Furthermore, the leftists had a designated protest area that they left to confront the teenagers.  They were supposed to stay in their protest area.

It is also disturbing that the Park Police did not keep these groups separate.  The notorious “Black Hebrew Israelites” reportedly had a permit. Normally, D.C. police and the Park Police are meticulous, highly-trained, and diligent to keep conflicting groups away from each other.  Not during the March for Life…

The teenage boys (apparently all boys) were waiting for their bus near the Lincoln Memorial.  Locals know that there is a roadway (generally restricted to use by tourist buses) right at the steps where the boys were gathered.  Difficult to see in most of the videos, around 100 boys were standing precisely at the edge of the road where their buses would swing by and take them away from the March for Life.  Locals know that getting in and out of Washington, D.C. during a major event can be a nightmare.  Walking across the Mall to the Lincoln Memorial to meet their buses was the best way to get out of the city without spending hours crowding into the “Metro” subway trains.

The strong moral character of these Catholic boys avoided and defused the confrontation and avoided a fight.  They honored and respected the Native American by switching from their own chants to following the Native activists lead and dancing along with his drumbeats and singing.  They honored and respected the old man, rather than taking offense at his intrusion into their group.   Their peaceful attitude attempting to find rapport with the intruders avoided a brawl.  This author wants to nominate the teenage boy Nick Sandmann for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Is it time for parents to stop allowing their children to go to the District of Columbia for tourism or school trips?  These students may come home with a souvenir:  Their lives and reputations ruined for life.

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