A US military veteran who was reported allegedly by a former military colleague under the “red flag” laws of New York was arrested after a seven-hour long standoff with police.
A Putnam County standoff ended peacefully Saturday at around 9:30 p.m., Carmel police say.
They say a man had barricaded himself inside a home for nearly seven hours before he finally surrendered.
Police say it started after 2 p.m. when they went to speak with a 28-year-old man about a domestic incident involving his wife earlier in the day. They say he then barricaded himself in the home.
Police say they don’t believe he had a gun and no one else in the community was in danger.
Negotiators worked throughout the day to try to get him to come out, but police say that he was posting live updates on social media. They say his followers only aggravated the situation.
“This is a person in crisis, having mental illness, having issues and he didn’t need the people on social media telling him that his rights are being violated,” said Chief Michael Cazzari of the Carmel Police. “He needed help. Medical help.”
Police say that man is not expected to face any charges from the standoff. (source)
According to what is known so far, this man, Alex Booth, was redflagged for a 30 round magazine that was displayed on a photo connected to his Instagram account called @whiskey_warrior_556, as he is a strong Second Amendment supporter. His wife and children were said to have been threatened by local police unless they let them inside their residence. It was said then that Booth, who was at work, raced home and sent out a call for aid through Instagram. At that point, it was said that police began to threaten cutting off his Internet access, and then afterwards no further news was reported save that he was arrested, and further information is yet to emerge about his family.
Booth claimed that his guns had been taken prior to the incident and that the issue was over a post of the magazine. Police are saying that this was related to a domestic violence incident. He was later charged with criminal trespass and aggravated harassment, among other charges, which could be consistent with the violation of a protective order. Interestingly, no weapons or magazines seem to have been recovered, and it does not appear that any charges were related to the standoff itself.
What exactly happened here is anybody’s estimation at this point. There is a history of governmental and police abuse in the US just as much as the US has a history of people who possess dreams of grandeur, delusion, or power in combination with toxic behaviors and added to that, a surplus of easily procured weapons. It would be grossly wrong to say who is “right” or “wrong” now because there is not enough information to make a clear determination about what happened, and until more information comes out, nothing further can be alleged of either side.
What is most interesting about this incident is the abundance of data but the lack of real information that is tangibly useful. People can make this into what they want, but nobody can give a clear declaration as to what is the most true view because it is impossible to ascertain right now.
It is a fact that “red flag” type gun laws have been criticized by many for being easily used tools to seize weapons from people. Likewise, the fact that there were allegations of police threatening to cut off Internet access to this person, while not an unreasonable idea in its general concept, sounds like something that one would hear in China or another “not free” nation criticized by the US.
One can take away from this entire incident is that domestic violence or not, there are certain things that one does not just publicly associate with as a general rule. There are activists, writers, and people with a serious public platform, but expressing views publicly brings public responsibility to it. The days of a “free” Internet where one could be “public” but expect to have the “protections” of a private citizen are non-existent any more, if they even actually existed save for a short moment as a social experiment.
There is a reason that so many people like anonymity, because it allows them to “express” themselves without social repercussions. However, the anonymity that once existed on the Internet is much harder to find as the web is increasingly condensed into a few select websites for social media and even less searching for actual things unlike in the past.
The future of the Internet, at least one where there is a liberty to express unpopular ideas without expecting serious problems, appears to be on the “deep web”, but even this has a very long way to develop. For the meantime, the major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitch have made clear that socially questionable activity may result in legal action.
It is enough to make one think twice about posting certain things to social media, and as some people said in the so-called “good ol’ days” before social media, to “keep those things to oneself”, because this time discussing them publicly might not only bring social ostracism, but permanent legal consequence that are not easily mitigated.