A Virginia man who regularly video records city council meetings with a gun strapped to his waist – which is legal in that state – was carried out of the chambers by police after a council flak accused him of threatening him with that gun.
But Chris Dorsey’s video shows that never happened.
And if Richmond City Council Public Information Officer Steven Skinner would make up such an outrageous lie, knowing it was on video, then anything that comes out of his mouth should be taken with a grain of salt.
But spinning the truth is what he gets paid to do, so it was obvious business as usual for him.
The incident took place Monday night during a Richmond City Council meeting after Skinner confronted Dorsey for sitting in the press box, even though nobody else seemed to have an issue with it, including the other reporters, one which vouched for him.
But Skinner was not impressed when Dorsey informed him he ran a blog and a Youtube channel.
“This is for media, where the media sits,” Skinner told him. “What exactly part of the media are you with?”
Even when another member of the media vouched for him, Skinner still wasn’t sold, which makes one wonder where the hell has been all this time considering everybody else seemed to be familiar with Dorsey, including a bailiff who referred to him by name.
“Can you please step away from me?” asked Dorsey. “You’re threatening me, you’re in my space.”
Dorsey then panned his camera down towards Skinner’s hands to show how close they were to him.
And that was all the excuse Skinner needed to have him removed.
“Are you threatening me with your gun?” Skinner asked. ” You pointed to your gun.”
Skinner then told the bailiff that Dorsey threatened him, who in turn, beckoned police to have him remove, disrupting the city council meeting as they handcuffed and carried him out.
According to CBS6:
Dorsey is a regular speaker during council meetings, frequently critical and accusatory. He has publicly said he believes council members break the law and should be treated like criminals.
He ran for sheriff last year and earned 10 percent of the vote on limited funds, so perhaps they are doing their best to discredit him out of fear he might one day garner enough support to be elected to office.
That seems to be the case, according to a post-election story CBS6 ran last year:
Offbeat is a fair word to describe failed Richmond sheriff’s candidate Chris Dorsey who, despite limited funding, managed to draw about 10 percent of the vote.
Problematic is another word used by some of the young Occupy Richmond folks who got tired of “the Chris Dorsey show” during Richmond’s Occupy movement.
Dorsey, a pistol-packing Chesterfield native who has lived in the city most of his adult life, has videotaped confrontations with Secret Service agents, city council members, deputies and much higher ranking officers.
He’s a frequent speaker, occasionally disruptive, at city council and other Richmond government hearings.
Dorsey considers himself a strict Constitutionalist and says “we do have a government that is 100 percent corrupt . . . They belong in jail. They don’t belong serving the people.” He calls the sitting sheriff a “criminal” whose misdeeds (Dorsey claims nepotism and unsafe jail conditions) are “costing the taxpayers millions.”
C.T. Woody, a former legendary Richmond homicide detective and the successful – by a large margin – incumbent sheriff, doesn’t mince words when it comes to Dorsey:
“He’s a lunatic on the wild . . . To me,” Woody added, “he’s the lowest thing in the ocean, and that’s whale crap.”
But here is another view of Dorsey and of Woody:
Even though Chris Dorsey didn’t win the seat of sheriff, he made a good showing by getting 10% of the vote and he has continued to try and bring the truth out about C.T. Woody and the election fraud. He has been attacked and confronted numerous times. I had done an interview with him last year and that same day he was attacked in front of the Sun Trust Building.
In a more recent contact he has stated and shown that Youtube.com is trying to get some of his videos pulled for showing what has been going on. I will be quoting from Chris Dorsey and his fedbook page heavily for this article with his permission.
Chris stated “The Secret Service is claiming that I am violating their privacy by posting a video of them harassing me after they pushed their way into my next door neighbors house. Youtube has says it will pull the video down. Land of the Free? What a joke. Those who control our government must be overthrown. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-XoFoISl-s”
“I just got this email from youtube. They want to remove a video of Secret Service agents harassing me.
Every city council has their gadfly. Or at least should have. And unless Dorsey is being disruptive, which he wasn’t Monday night, then he should be left alone.
Because in the process of trying to discredit him, Skinner ended up discrediting himself and the rest of the council.
But at least he is gracious enough to publicly list his contact information.
804.646.6052 (office)804.335.4054 (mobile)804.937.1386 (home/mobile)804.646.5468 (fax)firstname.lastname@example.org (email)
Below is a video of a bewildered Dorsey in handcuffs trying to figure out what he did wrong.
UPDATE: Glen Sutphin, a friend of Dorsey, posted a video interview of him after he had gotten out of jail, which you can see below.
And a Richmond City Council woman is calling for better security measures at the meetings, even though they legally can’t ban guns, insisting they are all “sitting ducks” as they sit in the meetings.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Councilwoman Reva M. Trammell, the chairwoman of the council’s Public Safety Committee, said Tuesday that the council should consider a stronger police presence near the front of the room and stricter credentialing rules governing access to the media gallery on the council dais.
“We’re right there,” Trammell, 8th District, said of herself and her fellow council members whose backs are turned to the media gallery where the confrontation unfolded. “Sitting ducks.”
One thing the council can’t do is ban guns at City Hall, which is impermissible under state law, according to city officials.
Also, Skinner, the media spokesperson for the city council began directing all inquiries to the mayor’s media spokesperson, who in turn, redirected inquiries back to Skinner.
Silence speak volumes. Especially when it comes from spin doctors.
Furthermore, there is no formal process of accessing the media area where Dorsey was sitting, so Skinner evidently took it upon himself to create one.
There is no formal process for gaining access to the media gallery. Silver Persinger, a City Hall watchdog who films a wide variety of government proceedings and posts videos online, routinely sets up a camera in the media gallery.
In Dorsey’s video of Monday’s interaction, Skinner can be heard saying that Dorsey pointed to his gun, though Dorsey denies it. Skinner then tells Bobby Stith, city security supervisor, that Dorsey should be removed from the chamber. Stith motions to police, and Dorsey is taken out.
Trammell suggested Stith had sent Skinner to speak to Dorsey, adding that he was “wrong” to do so.
“He should’ve gone to a police officer if he has concerns about Dorsey being up there,” Trammell said. “What if a gun had been pulled out in that corner?”
On Tuesday, Skinner directed questions about safety and firearm policy to the mayor’s press secretary, saying that the administration oversees the safety of the council chambers.
Tammy D. Hawley, the mayor’s press secretary, directed questions back to Skinner.