A man arrested at DC checkpoint yesterday tells the Washington Post he is a private security guard, hired to protect media equipment.
Yes, lots of people are understandably uptight after the insurrection at the Capitol last week; but in America, all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Wesley Allan Beeler has already been released — a sign the authorities don’t consider him a terroristic threat. (Though he was also told to say out of DC.)
I’ve seen the story spreading in my social media feed that he was a Nazi with fake credentials, and I’ve seen angry calls to “ruin his life.”
Beeler says he was lost, pulled into a checkpoint voluntarily, and presented ID his employer gave him, which had previously been enough to get him through checkpoints. He cooperated with police at every step, telling them he was carrying his licensed firearm.
The police report said his pass was “unauthorized,” but showing an authorized pass is not the same thing as planning a terrorist attack. The police paperwork says he had 500 rounds with him, but he denies that.
The AP headline was simply “Man arrested with handgun, ammo at DC checkpoint.”
KRON TV ran a story with the headline “Police arrest man in D.C. with loaded gun, fake inauguration credentials” — but that word “fake” is sensational. The more neutral word “invalid” would not require that many extra letters.
The Washington Post article, “Va. man arrested at inauguration checkpoint says he was lost; didn’t mean to bring gun, ammunition to the District” works against the hype spreading on social media. Someone will sooner or later misuse that hype to support the narrative that “the media” is biased and unreliable.