Pro-police supporters were allowed to assault anti-police brutality protesters under the eyes of a watching police chief, who thanked them for their support during a “Rally for Law Enforcement” Saturday, including one hulking man who shoved his body weight into a woman half his size while holding a U.S. Marines cap to his heart as the Pledge of Allegiance was being recited.
The towering man, wearing a “Police Lives Matter” shirt, then tried to do the same to videographer Dennis Gilman, repeatedly telling him, “don’t film me.”
But film him he did, exposing the man as a bullying hypocrite; a fact that could not be concealed no matter how many American flags he had pinned on his cap.
Freedom, the way he saw it, is only for a select few.
The man was eventually led away by Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell, who thanked him for his support, the mustachioed man gleaming at the boisterous turnout of pro-police supporters.
Harris, wearing a vest identifying him as a member of the “Blue Knights MC,” an international motorcycle club consisting of both former and active cops, could be heard telling a fellow supporter, “I have not killed anybody in a while,” before doing the same old walk into the protesters routine, daring them to do something.
Another man with a white beard and pot belly kept shoving his sign into Gilman’s camera as Harris physically kept stepping into Gilman’s personal space as the crowded chanted, “we support the blue!”
At this time, we have not been able to confirm that Harris has any civilian law enforcement employment as this is still a very active and developing story.
Berry, who can be identified easily by the uniform shirt that he wore, listing him by name and by his former Arizona Air National Guard Unit, the 161st ANG Fire.
Younger, taller and stronger than the pot-bellied man with the white beard, Berry grabbed the man’s sign and aggressively shoved it into Gilman’s lens.
Berry then must have realized that his name was on his shirt because he promptly removed it, revealing another shirt that clearly depicts his support of local law enforcement
Upon research, we discovered this unit is no longer in existence and Berry has moved onto the Arizona Army National Guard 91st Civil Support Team (WMD), a unit that came into existence after 911 whose mission is to support local first responders with advanced response capabilities during possible Weapons of Mass Destruction incidents.
These units are tasked to support the Department of Homeland Security for large public venues such as Super Bowls, NASCAR Races and other events with large attendance and television coverage.
In fact, Berry recently announced on his Facebook page that he received a promotion and will be working at the upcoming Super Bowl, which will be played in Phoenix on February 1.
At the time of this post, Berry and Harris have not been contacted for comment and the first man has not been identified, yet I have contacted the 91st CST’s Duty officer and emailed both the local and international Presidents of the Blue Knights MC.
I am awaiting a response and will update when and if a response is provided.
Also in attendance at the rally held in the parking lot of the Scottsdale Police Department, watching the continuous assault on Gilman for recording, was the mayor of Scottsdale along with a council member.
The larger, pro-police side included an assortment of sign-holding seniors sitting on lawn chairs, members of the Blue Knights police-only motorcycle club, a woman in the back of a pickup truck with a bullhorn (we never got her name), guys standing around with arms crossed, average-looking citizens just there to observe. Several police officers were on hand for crowd control, it seemed, but Police Chief Alan Rodbell hung out for the whole event. He was joined by elected officials including Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane and Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp. They took the east side of the lot while their opponents, arriving in timely fashion, took the west side.
“This is not a confrontational issue at all,” Mayor Lane told New Times, explaining that no one should support any activist group that calls for harming police officers.
He pointed to examples including the recent graffiti and “frankly, the activists who have called for killing cops.”
Lane didn’t name any specific activists.
Rodbell, who denied having anything to do with the event, told us he believes the community respects and supports the city’s police force.
“This is clearly a grassroots effort,” he said of the organized event. “We’re flattered people want to come out on a Saturday and support us.”
The video ends with a woman speaking into a bullhorn, trying to get people to sign a petition for even more law enforcement.
UPDATE: The Arizona National Guard confirmed that Van Berry is a Sergeant with the 856th Military Police Company and that his chain of command has been notified of his actions and that he will be disciplined for his behavior.