Things That Matter

Guardians Of The Galaxy Star Offers Reward To Find Who Mutilated A Manatee With The Name ‘Trump’

Just when we thought Trump supporters couldn’t disgust us more, one disfigured a manatee by etching “Trump” into its back.

Sadly, last week, a manatee was found in Florida’s Homosassa River with the name “Trump” scratched into its back. The discovery has prompted federal officials to open an investigation into the disfigurement of the threatened species.

A mutilated manatee was found over the weekend with the name Trump scratched into its back.

According to a report published by the Citrus County Chronicle, it is unclear when and how the manatee was mutilated. It is also unknown whether the current investigation has made any leads in regards to the perpetrators. Still, footage of the abused animal has sparked outrage online.

Douglas Nowacek, a professor of Conservation Technology at Duke University told Vice that the incident is “one of the most horrifying things I have ever seen done to a wild animal.” In a separate email, Ruth Carmichael, a Senior Marine Scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and a Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama described the act a “horrific” to VICE saying “I have no words to express how deeply troubling, thoughtless, and potentially cruel this is.” 

Guardians of the Galaxy actor Dave Bautista has offered a $20,000 reward to anyone who finds the person who etched “Trump” into the Florida manatee’s back.

Bautista offered the reward on Twitter, writing “if there’s not already a reward for the arrest and conviction of the low life scummy MAGATs that did this I’ll throw in $20,000. And I promise there will be bonuses to that reward!”

Marine biologists say that it is unclear just how much harm the mammal endured.

“It’s a little hard to see the extent of damage from the video,” Carmichael explained. “It is harassment regardless. If the scrape penetrates the skin, then it likely caused some pain and stress. The animals have nerves and sensory hairs in the skin. Additionally, open wounds could become infected.” 

According to Graham Worthy, Department Chair and Pegasus Professor at the University of Central Florida who spoke to VICE the letters could mostly be shallow, and may mostly be algae scraped off the animal’s back making“ injury would be virtually non-existent.”

Still, physically hurt or not, the manatee in question was clearly harassed by a person. As such the perpetrator could face severe penalties if found. 

“Violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act may result in fines of up to $100,000 and one year’s imprisonment for individuals and up to $200,000 for organizations,” Worthy told Vice. “It is illegal to approach and make contact with these animals let alone deface or injure them. It is illegal to feed or harass wild marine mammals including dolphins, porpoises, whales, seals, sea lions, and manatees. You are not allowed to feed, swim with, or harass these marine animals… They should be observed from a distance of at least 50 yards.”

The mutilated manatee is a West Indian manatee and is a herbivorous mammal found in coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Up until 2017, the species was considered endangered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Today, conservation status is listed as “threatened.”  

As many users of social media have noted, perhaps one of the most disturbing aspects of the images that humans already cause so much pain and suffering to innocent animals. When does it stop?

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Capitol Insurrectionist Who Threatened to ‘Assassinate’ Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Has Been Arrested, Charged

Things That Matter

Capitol Insurrectionist Who Threatened to ‘Assassinate’ Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Has Been Arrested, Charged

Photos via Getty Images/Dallas County Sheriff’s Office

The FBI recently revealed a disturbing bit of news about one of the rioters who participated in the storming of the Capitol on January 6th.

According to an FBI affidavit, the rioter, whose name is Garret Miller, tweeted that he wanted to “assassinate” Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Garret Miller responded to a tweet that AOC sent out on January 6th in the wake of the Capitol riots. The tweet was one word: “Impeach.” Miller responded to the tweet: “Assassinate AOC.”

But before he tweeted the death threat at the lawmaker, he defended his actions as well of the actions of his fellow insurrectionists, writing: “We acted in honor and we [were] not armed. We [were] gentle with the police. They murdered a child.”

The “child” he is ostensibly referring to in the above tweet is the 35-year-old San Diego woman, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by a Capitol police officer when she was trying to climb through a window.

According to the FBI, Miller meticulously recorded his involvement with the riots on social media.

On his Facebook page, Miller posted a selfie of himself within the Capitol building wearing a Trump hat. Someone commented on the post: “bro you got in?! Nice!” to which Miller responded, “just wanted to incriminate myself a little lol.”

In response to this ironic piece of information, AOC tweeted out: “‘Just wanted to incriminate myself a little’…Well, you did!”

The FBI also alleges that Miller posted another death-threat–this one directed at the Capitol police officer who killed Ashli Babbitt–saying: “We going to get a hold of [the USCP officer] and hug his neck with a nice rope”. He also admitted on Instagram that he had a rope in his bag on the day of the insurrection.

Miller’s brazen public admissions to his treasonous actions stuck out to AOC as worth commenting on.

She wrote on Twitter: “On one hand you have to laugh, and on the other know that the reason they were this brazen is because they thought they were going to succeed.”

AOC has previously opened up bout her experience being trapped in the Capitol when rioters breached the building.

In a recent Instagram live video, AOC confessed she “thought she was going to die” when rioters stormed the building. She also said that she didn’t feel comfortable gathering in a “secure extraction point” with other representatives because she didn’t trust her colleagues.

She believed that far-right Republican representatives might “disclose [her] location]” to the insurrectionists or “create opportunities to allow [her] to be hurt, kidnapped.”

“I didn’t even feel safe around other members of Congress, and to be kind of fending for yourself in that way is traumatizing,” she said. It seems like she had good reason to be afraid.

As for Garrett Miller, his lawyer says that he “regrets the acts he took in a misguided effort to show his support for former President Trump.”

Miller will face charges of threats and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. His hearing is set for Monday the 25th.

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The Woman Who Stole Nancy Pelosi’s Laptop and Attempted to Sell It To the Russians Has Been Released From Jail

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The Woman Who Stole Nancy Pelosi’s Laptop and Attempted to Sell It To the Russians Has Been Released From Jail

Photo via DAUPHIN COUNTY PRISON

In case you forgot that there are two Americas, let the case of 22-year-old Riley Williams serve as a reminder.

Williams was one of the far-right insurrectionists that stormed the Capitol on January 6th. But Williams was not just any insurrectionist.

The young woman was wanted by the FBI under suspicion of stealing Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s laptop with the intent to sell it to Russian intelligence.

According to a witness–who has been identified as Williams’ ex-boyfriend–the woman “intended to send the computer device to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service.”

Authorities arrested Williamson on January 18th on charges of theft, trespassing and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

However, Riley Williams only stayed in jail for a few days before she was released under the care of her mother. Williams will be required to wear an ankle monitor at all times and will only be able to leave her house for work or other authorized reasons.

Williams’ lawyer says that the claims against her client have been “overstated” and stem from the revenge efforts of an angry ex-boyfriend.

But the FBI says they have video evidence of Williams committing the alleged act.

According to the FBI, an ITV documentary shows Williams on-camera as part of the mob that stormed the Capitol. At one point, she is headed towards Speaker Pelosi’s office. The documentary allegedly shows her entering Speaker Pelosi’s office and swiping the laptop.

Investigators also say they have evidence that Williams wrote on free speech social network Discord: “I DOMT (sic) CARE I TOOK NANCY POLESIS (sic) HARD DRIVES I DON’T CARE KILL ME.”

Of the charges, U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson said: “The gravity of these offenses is great. It cannot be overstated.”

But Williams’ defense team appears to be taking the angle that Williams stormed the Capitol and allegedly stole the laptop at the behest of former President Trump. “It is regrettable that Miss Williams took the president’s bait and went inside the Capitol,” her lawyer told the judge.

Considering Ms. Williams committed literal treason, many people are asking: why isn’t she in jail awaiting her trial?

The outcry over what many consider a double-standard in the justice system has been great. People are pointing out that the justice system treats people who look like Riley Williams with kid gloves, while excessively punishing people of color for lesser offenses.

In particular, people are bringing to light a case that is similar in many ways: the case of Kalief Browder. The parallels of this case are obvious: both suspects were young, both were charged with theft.

But while Kalief Browder allegedly stole a backpack when he 16-years-old and was forced to spend 3 years in Rikers while awaiting trial, Riley Williams was released to the custody of her mother after a few days in jail while being accused of literal treason by the FBI.

It should be noted that, after spending much of his time in Rikers in solitary confinement, Browder committed suicide shortly after his release from prison.

It’s cases like this that show how the class and racial divide in America can literally be the difference between living and dying.

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