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Social media fact-checkers are quick on the draw with this news story, banning and blocking reports that indicate Antifa or Black Lives Matter protestors are responsible for at least some of the thousand or so fires scorching the American West. However, the facts continue to mount that indicate there is indeed evidence of domestic terrorism and intentional arson on the part of the leftwing extremist groups in at least some of the wildfires.
Jeffrey Acord (36) called 911 Wednesday evening to report a fire near Highway 167 around Tacoma, Washington. The man then livestreamed the incident to his Facebook page.
Acord, who was arrested for allegedly setting the fire, is a Black Lives Matter (BLM) organizer. There are videos still available on Facebook of Acord leading a protest in Seattle (see below).
Note that Acord (above) claims in the comment section to be leading the BLM protest.
Acord’s protests have not always been non-violent, either. He was arrested in 2014 while taking part in a riot in Seattle, protesting the Ferguson police shooting. When arrested at the time, Acord’s belongings were searched as a part of normal police procedure and found a handgun, an AR-15 rifle, ammunition, and fireworks (see photo form police evidence below).
KOMO News reported this incident, writing, “Officers also found the man was carrying a 7-inch knife in his backpack and had a box of ammunition, an assault rifle, a shotgun, and a box full of large fireworks in his car, police said. Acord was subsequently arrested and booked into the King County jail. Wednesday, city prosecutors filed charges including carrying a weapon without a permit and having illegal fireworks.”
The BLM leader is now in jail on a Reckless Burning in the Second Degree (arson) charge (see below).
Please note that Mr. Acord has labeled himself BLM, and his social media substantiates it.
According to the Post Millennial, a Canadian website that broke the story, “Mr. Acord is now a suspect in two other local fires, including the Bonney Lake fire.”
Acord is not the only suspected arsonist who is responsible for burned acerage in the American West, however. More than 900,000 acres have been set ablaze in Oregon, and law enforcement there are investigating the fire in Ashland as probably arson, with two bodies found among the destroyed property. In total, several hundred homes were reportedly destroyed from that event, now called the Almeda Fire.
Meanwhile, a woman in Spokane has been arrested for allegedly starting multiple fires there on Monday. Christine Comello,
A Facebook account belonging to a Christy Comello (Spokane) fits the age and description of the woman arrested, and her ‘about’ section shows her interests, which include photographs showing a connection to Black Lives Matter (see below).
Law Enforcement Today reports being told by a federal law enforcement officer, “We are reacting to a coordinated series of attempts to start fires anywhere and everywhere in Oregon. Public and Private lands, incorporated and unincorporated areas. By all indications, so far in the preliminary stages of these investigations there is a coordinated effort on the part of these individuals to start fires in areas that are the least protected and most vulnerable then slowing working their way into more populated areas and neighborhoods.
They continued, “Please take this information as an advisory for you own account and welfare and please act in good faith with due diligence to plan accordingly for your own safety and the well being of your community.”
Another man, Elias Pendergrass (44) was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of arson in a wildfire that burned almost 400 acres, and caused evacuations west of Eugene, Oregon. He allegedly started the fire in Sweet Creek Milepost 2, which covers 382 acres near the town of Mapleton. He’s being held in the Lane County Jail (see below).
KEZI reported on September 10 that Milton Loice Moran (48) was arrested in Junction City, Oregon, for lighting a mortar north of the city, and police indicate his intention was arson. Another local outlet, KMTR, reported that a man was seen starting fires in the Dexter, Oregon. According to witnesses, the man had arm tattoos and was seen lighting two fires. He had a black German shepherd with him and was driving a green SUV, either a Ford or a Chevrolet. Additionally, a 37-year-old named Anita Esquivel was arrested on September 7 and was accused of arson in Monterey County, California, KION reported.
Meanwhile, a string of fires earlier this summer along the roadside in Idaho is being investigated as arson according to the Idaho Fire Marshall. And last month, the Flathead Beacon in Montana reported that a number of fires are suspected to be arson. They report, “Authorities believe two wildfires started on the Flathead Indian Reservation…were set intentionally, adding to a growing number of suspected arsons in Northwest Montana this year.”
‘Independent Fact-Checkers,’ which are rarely independent and who seem adverse to facts, claim that accusations of arson on behalf of Antifa or Black Lives Matter are false seem to have based their findings on a Public Service Announcement placed by the Medford Police Department (see below).
As seen above, the Medford Police Department warned that one Facebook post regarding their supposed investigation into Antifa or Proud Boys (an alt-right group that often duels with Antifa) setting fires was fake. Also chiming into the conversation have been several police departments claiming they had no evidence of Antifa or BLM starting the wildfires. One claim by Paul J. Romero, a former candidate for Senate, that six Antifa members were in custody for arson has been debunked.
Fact-checkers have largely ignored the evidence regarding Jeffrey Acord and Christy Comello, however, and chosen instead to focus on the cases where Antifa and BLM involvement can be specifically ruled out. Facebook spokeswoman, Liz Bourgeois, said today that “the company’s third-party fact-checkers determined the rumors that Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists had started the fires were false.”
She said, “We are reducing its distribution and showing strong warning labels for people who see it, try to share it, or already have.”