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Richmond Gun Rally: Is A Virginia Cop Giving 4Chan’s /pol Board Inside Info?

January 19, 2020

By Robert Evans

On Monday, January 20, the city of Richmond, Virginia will be host to a massive gathering of militias and individual gun owners, protesting against a series of proposed bills in the state legislature. This event started as the annual “Lobby Day” rally for the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) but has quickly gotten out of control. 

Earlier this week, the FBI arrested several members of Neo-Nazi organization “The Base” who were planning to attend the march with an illegal automatic weapon and more than a thousand rounds of ammunition. Governor Northam has declared a “State of Emergency” in the city and banned firearms from the Capitol grounds. He justified this by stating his fear that some protesters attending the event, “have as their purpose not peaceful assembly but violence, rioting, and insurrection.”

Evidence supporting this fear can be found on 4chan’s far-right /pol board, where at least one Richmond police officer appears to be providing protesters with inside information.

What /pol Wants From January 20 

4chan’s /pol board is one of the largest white nationalist gathering places on the Internet. In the lead up to this much-anticipated rally a series of threads titled “/vsg/” (Virginian Spring General) have cropped up to help coordinate anons interested in attending the event. The posts range from general information…

…to outright calls for racial violence and the start to a “boogaloo” (far-right terminology for a new civil war. As in, ‘Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo’).

MediaMatters previously reported on some of these threads and noted: “…users have explicitly organized among themselves for the January 20 rally and have asked about “a meeting spot for anons that are showing up.” In one thread, users discussed which users would be “command[ing]” a “station” to “serve” at the rally and having an “alert for weapons free,” a term meaning permission to shoot at non-friendly targets.”

A Law Enforcement Officer Appears

An anti-fascist activist, “B”, reached out to Bellingcat with a link to this archived version of a now-removed /vsg/ thread. In it, an individual with the poster ID “6RuLcY2g” claims to be a Richmond cop working the event and announces that he will be “taking questions”.

Shortly thereafter, he posts a picture of his badge next to a crude approximation of the 4chan logo. 

This in and of itself is not hugely noteworthy. In other /vsg/ threads, users have posted pretending to be law enforcement officers. They have even posted pictures of badges, like this:

This “investigator” badge is quite easily debunked as a fake via Google Image Search. But this Richmond police officer badge does not show up on Yandex or Google reverse image searches. And based on this tweet from the Richmond police, the badge posted onto /pol does seem to match the badges issued by the Richmond Police Department.

I thank this activist for finding the tweet.

A Conversation With Officer Anon 

The anons of /pol are often outright Nazi sympathizers, and there are repeated calls in the thread for people to join or support The Base. As you might expect, the kind of people who announce their support of a terrorist network targeted by the FBI are deeply concerned about federal infiltrators.

Within these circles, the term “glownigger” and variations of the word “glow” are used to refer to government operatives who post on boards like 4chan to try and entrap individuals. Quite a few anons express significant distrust of the poster claiming to be a Richmond police officer.

But poster 6RuLcY2g makes no obvious attempts to entrap or encourage felonious behavior. Instead, he answers questions and attempts to provide anons with actionable intelligence on police plans for January 20. He notes that there will be “probably 600-700” officers in attendance, tells them to “expect double barriers” around the event area, and even warns his fellow channers to “watch out for glow in the darks.”

The purported officer’s posts show a familiarity with the lingo used on /pol, including its casual racism and homophobia. In another post he claims to have been a regular user of the site since 2009. 

Anons repeatedly ask him if he intends to “stand down”, and accuse him of having ties to the “Mossad” and “ADL” (essentially accusing him of working for the Jewish cabal they believe exists). Another user asks him detailed questions about how the police might respond to the crowd. 

He answers all these questions with a fair amount of detail, noting that “Mossad and ADL don’t like people like me” and admitting that there are not enough police to stop the crowd if it gets out of control. 

At one point he is asked how he and his fellow officers will be outfitted; whether they’ll be in normal uniforms or wearing a full tactical get-up. Directly below his response, another anon posts a colorized photograph of a midnight swearing-in ceremony for the Nazi SS. 

The officer in question — if he is an officer —  is careful enough to not state his own beliefs directly. Nor does he advocate any illegal behavior. But he does provide potentially useful insight into how he believes Richmond PD will respond to the protests, and the limitations of his department’s capabilities. 

It’s probably worth noting that, on this same board, other users proudly display swastikas while they share information on how to conduct insurgent campaigns. 

If the poster in question is, in fact, a Richmond police officer, he is an officer who is profoundly comfortable with Nazi iconography and explicit talk of insurgent warfare against the U.S. government.  

Robert Evans

Robert Evans has worked as a conflict journalist in Iraq and Ukraine and reported extensively on far-right extremist groups in the United States. He's particularly interested in the ways terrorist groups recruit, radicalize and communicate through the Internet. He has a podcast on the HowStuffWorks network (https://www.behindthebastards.com) and you can contact him via revanswriter@gmail.com or Twitter: https://twitter.com/IwriteOK

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49 Comments

  1. Oldfig

    All the racist posters on /pol/ are lefty infiltrators. No sane person posts shit like that, which is why they hide their flag / location, because they’d be outed for it. The board is public, and we’re focused on optics more than the left ever is with your open anti-semitism and hatred of so many minority groups. Why would we wilfully post nonsense like that? The term is black optics, these people come in and say stupid shit to make us look bad. You have your own versions, but we don’t run the media so we can’t spend forever showcasing them.

    Reply
    • Older than You

      Classic deflection- anything to create plausible deniability. The fact is that you can’t know for sure if someone is posting from a basement or a party van, which means your claim can neither be proven or disproven. What you call black optics used to be false flagging, but now that everyone knows and is turned off to that phrase (thanks, Alex Jones!) the phrase du jour has changed.
      The fact of the matter is that there are people on /pol/ who genuinely believe that shit and spread it. Lone wolves aren’t lone wolves when there’s an online network supporting their actions.

      Reply
  2. Clb

    Classic 4channer tactics on display here. Deny, obfuscate and finger point. Everything is a psyop. Everyone is a Russian troll. None of the opinions are real. It’s all just The Game.

    Reply
  3. Docduracoat

    The rally went off without a hitch.
    There were plenty of black and Latino gun rights supporters in attendance.
    There was even a group with a sign saying “gun rights are trans rights”
    The Virginia gun rights group brought garbage bags and the protesters left the venue garbage free.
    Compare this right wing protest the the left wing protests where people were assaulted and the venue was covered in trash

    Reply
    • Richard B

      @Docduracoat so they all proved, they CAN be civillised and that multiple minorities/ideologies CAN co-exist together without incident.
      Why then the need to own gun (or dozens of guns in most cases)? Considering the fact, that you live in sovereign state with police, several security agencies and bureaus and strongest army in the world.

      Reply
  4. Jane

    The entire fact that you say this was so much more peaceful than the left’s protests is obvious because there wasn’t a bunch of Aryan-Neanderthals running in the streets with their torches and idiotic chants acting like giant toddlers that think they can scream their way into whatever they want. The world is changing boys. Things will NEVER be like it was. The south is just a direction, not some long lost world power that will reunite in a huge wave of overindulged inbred hillbillies with homemade weapons sippin’ moonshine hollerin’ “yall aint takin’ my guns”… um, use them properly or yeah, they will. and you will deserve to lose them. Lets get things to a better place where we are not all at each other’s throats and where we are trying to make this world a better place for our kids and their kids, REGARDLESS OF THEIR RACE.

    Reply
    • Matthew

      “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

      This isn’t the first time a society has degenerated. Degeneracy is historically anomalous, short-lived, and precedes great [creative] destruction. We go full circle.

      And “Birds of a feather fly together”. Tribal kinship is basic biology, and we neglect it (and ourselves) at our own peril.

      Reply
      • Richard B

        @Matthew Let’s start with facts:
        Time is linear not cyclic… Idea of cycles come from philosophy, has nothing to do with the real time-space continuum.
        Tribal kinship in basic biology for humans is Hominini, which includes all of genus Homo and often also genus Pan (chimps and bonobos) are included.

        By degenerates you mean people who think they absolutely need e.g. Barret M82 just because 400 years old document is giving them the right?

        You sound like someone who read a lot of fascist ideology and got brainwashed enough to ignore obvious (and easily provable) facts.

        Reply
        • Matthew

          Time is cyclical; day and night, the procession of the seasons, etc. The idea of cycles is based on life itself.

          >Tribal kinship in basic biology for humans is Hominini

          No, it’s not. You’re trying too hard to sound smart. You can see tribal kinship in most national borders; you can see it in metropolitan housing patterns; you can see it in any multi-ethnic school cafeteria.

          Degenerates are those who have forgotten the natural laws and right behavior that got us to the position we enjoy today; that failure to maintain order is what leads to decline, collapse, and subsequent regeneration. Cycles.

          You sound like somebody who’s spent too much time on plebbit – where leftists are afraid of ideas they can’t refute so they insulate themselves by censorship and groupthink (le upboat).

          Reply
          • Richard B

            @Matthew so you want to say that time is linear with cyclic events taking place?

            You say in basic biology and proceed with anthropology/sociology explanation.

            So, if you are able to maintain order, there is no decline, no collapse and no regeneration. Therefore no cycle exists. Using your logic in the statement.

            I’m just someone who manages to check the facts before speaking/typing, and also as I stated previously in different comment, I enjoy reading the BS you guys keep providing.

      • Zachary

        Society is degenerating, but not for the reason that you think. It’s degenerating because of people like you who are using bullshit psuedo-science in an attempt to disenfranchise entire groups of people who have contributed more to this great country then your sorry existence ever will.

        Reply
  5. Pete

    No Virginia official badge would ever say State of Virginia, it is the Commonwealth of Virginia. This is fake.

    Reply
    • Richard B

      @Pete while I agree that officially it’s Commonwealth of Virginia, the law enforcement is done by Virginia State Police. On their webpage it’s used more often than term “commonwealth” and I was also able to find couple of badges addressed to retired troopers, that said State of Virginia. Just from this we hardly can assume authenticity of the badge.
      It would be best if VSP commented on this and confirmed/rejected the idea.

      Reply
  6. charlie

    One of the post from this “cop” is very telling, and makes me believe he is not a cop. The post states “Yes. It’s inside the governors mansion just walk right in”. The event was not at the Governor’s Mansion; it wasn’t anywhere near the Governor’s Mansion. (Yes, they’re in walking distance from each other, but they are distinctly in very different areas). A Richmond City cop would 100% know this, and not something that would be mixed up. A Richmond City cop wouldn’t use the term “governors mansion” to generically describe the location of Lobby Day. It was held at the VA Capital. I don’t think this is a Richmond cop. Could just be someone else’s badge (lost/stolen/dead relative). Can’t they track that badge number?

    Reply

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