By now it has been all over the media that there was a shooting in Old Town Albuquerque last night near the Juan de Oñate statue where protestors sought to pull down the historic, and presently controversial, statue. There has been tension for days between individuals of Hispanic decent and those who claim to champion Native history (often, also, partially of Spanish decent). One UNM assistant professor, Moises Gonzales, has gone so far as to dox individuals that have confronted disagreed with him (I’m sure that social media behavior is in compliance with UNM’s social media policy!). As a Native American myself (not from a New Mexico based tribe), I’ve stayed out of the fray, watching from the sidelines and listening.*
The multi-faceted seriousness of what we must deal with erupted in front of us last night as shared in many videos across social media. I couldn’t find a video that showed cops anywhere near the scene when violence erupted. Perhaps the mob had become too violent for them and they had backed off? Or, most likely, the police had been told to stand down by Mayor Keller and they were obeying his orders, allowing a group of angry protestors to seek to pull down what they’ve been calling a “offensive” statue of Oñate, a Spanish Conquistador and New Mexico historical figure.
Video of the confrontation last night shows a man running as he’s chased by what appears to be a mob yelling “”we’re going to f–ng kill you,” and “he’s a cop.” Witnesses have portrayed the scene on social media an intense and horrific. Michelle Malkin shared a video of what occurred in her tweet below. Again, cops can’t be seen anywhere. As a matter of fact, videos and another Malkin video imply people had to call the cops to the scene. What is also ironic, is that while the individual who appears to have been shooting in response to a mob chasing him, a thrown skateboard and other items made obscure by smoke, video shows he waited for minutes for the police to arrive on the scene after the shooting. No running. No chatting with the New Mexico Civil Guard. No fighting or pushing back at the Antica-anti-Onate protesters. No fleeing the scene.
Progressives and Antifa sympathizers have been trying to spin this as a militia-connected shooting, but there’s no evidence that the man who pulled a gun as he ran from a mob was a member of any organized group present. He clearly wasn’t part of the group of fatigue-wearing rifle-carrying individuals in some of the other videos. Witness to the scene, Esther Rivera had an interview with Michelle Malkin early this morning. Rivera, who was near the blue shirt-wearing man who fired a gun, declared that the mob was beating at her with skateboards, clipboards and other items. She also described the scene as having no kind of security aka, zero police.
As more information becomes available, I hope to share more on this developing story. For now, this is what I was able to discover and share.
*My biggest issue with the entire Oñate figure discussion is that removing a statute– and especially doing so by force– removes parts of history that, though perhaps unpleasant, are equally invaluable lessons to current and future generations. It is like banning or burning books, unAmerican in the greatest way.