Nine suspects associated with some of the country’s most established and violent white supremacist groups have been arrested on hate crimes charges, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports.
They were detained early Saturday, mere hours after James Alex Fields, Jr., the neo-Nazi who drove his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Heather Heyer.
The nine people arrested allegedly attacked a black DJ at the Rec Room Bar in Lynwood, Washington while shouting racist slurs at him. The DJ was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and some of his equipment was also damaged.
Lynwood is just across Puget Sound from Whidbey Island, where on December 8, 1984, Robert Jay Mathews became a white supremacist martyr when he died in a shootout with FBI agents. Mathews led the domestic terrorist group The Order, and racist skinhead groups like the Hammerskin Nation now gather outside Seattle annually to celebrate his legacy of terrorism.
One of the people arrested was Travis David Condor, head of the hate-music record label American Defense Records. He had praised Mathews on social media. Condor was also photographed rallying alongside members of the Hammerskin Nation at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.
Condor is known for previously joining three others in attacking a homeless Cleveland man in 2010, beating him with pipes and a baseball bat and accusing him of “trespassing” and being a “bum.” Condor was on active duty with the 82nd Airborne Division at the time — sporting a “baby killer” patch on his fatigues — but was sentenced to just 90 days in prison after giving a face-to-face apology to the victim, with time served.
Many white supremacists were outraged by Fields’ conviction Friday. Christopher Cantwell, known to many as the “Crying Nazi” for his reaction after learning of the warrant out for his arrest after his participation in the Charlotteville rally, posted a particularly threatening response on the racist social network Gab. Fields’ arrest, he said, “will drive us toward your complete and total destruction, as a matter of necessity for our very survival.”
Referencing Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof and Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers, Cantwell warned, “You are creating an army of fanatics who are ready to die.”
Meanwhile on Gab. pic.twitter.com/mUwViuKwLh
— Intellectual Snark Web (@EyesOnTheRight) December 9, 2018
The attack in Washington Saturday morning may have very well been part of a backlash to Fields’ conviction.