Online citizen sleuths have evolved now that so many Americans are indoors avoiding the coronavirus pandemic. When the FBI began sorting out the overwhelming task of investigating the January 6 failed coup, they asked for help identifying people from the tremendous number of video clips. A group of Americans took up the mantle and began pulling the threads from the whole carpet of the insurrection, but they have not been alone.
The media has jumped upon this rich vein of news with their best investigative reporters. The Huffington Post drew attention to the identity of a man named Robert Scott Palmer, but he is not just any run-of-the-mill citizen. No, he is the one captured on video using a fire extinguisher to bludgeon police officers. All the while:
‘[He was wearing an] “American flag jacket bearing the name of former President Donald Trump.’
Now, federal authorities have captured him. The Florida man was a 53-year-old owner of a Clearwater, Florida business owner. According to court records:
‘Palmer has been charged with assaulting/resisting/impeding officers, engaging in civil disorder, and entering restricted building or grounds, according to court records.’
At this time, the FBI affidavit is not yet available to the public nor the details of his charges.
Originally, one of those American sleuths went hunting for a guy she gave the name of #FloridaFlagJacket. Using the pseudonym “Amy,” she relayed that she had COVID-19. Sleuthing gave her something to do while she was in isolation. After she saw a video of her prey that showed him giving his name, Amy linked up her information on Palmer to give their research more weight.
After weeks of waiting, the FBI displayed Plamer’s image among its perp list. The suspect was identified as :#FloridaFlagJacket was FBI #246 – AFO. In other words, that indicated the charge against him was an “assault on a federal officer.” Amy could see that she was not getting through to the FBI. The HuffPost gave their findings the publicity necessary to garner the FBI’s attention.
The HuffPost completed the exercise of tracking down Palmer with “citizen sleuths” as a springboard. Already, individuals had identified the man and had his name by March 5. Given that the FBI had nearly a quarter of a million tips to sort through, HuffPost joined the investigation, finishing and enriching the trifecta.
A number of tips actually identified Palmer, but Huffington Post drew the citizen sleuth information together and gave it a public face that drew the FBI’s attention. The publication contacted Palmer who confirmed he was one of the individuals who stormed the Capitol Building on January 6. And yes, he had been wearing an American flag jacket with Trump’s name on it.
The man spoke to HuffPost relaying how he had been hit by a “police projectile in the stomach.” However, when it came to how he assaulted the police, he shut down:
‘I’m not, I’m not, I’m not, I’m not, I’m not saying anything ― anything more. OK? I’m not, I’m not saying anything more.’
When the publication pressed him about the FBI, asking had its members contacted him, Palmer hung up. Right after the HuffPost’s article ran about him, the mob member pulled his Facebook page.
At this time, Amy is coronavirus free, and she has an idea about what she will do when the FBI comes for Palmer:
‘I will probably open a bottle of champagne. Which I can enjoy now, since I can taste.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.