Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer's divisive speech at the University of Florida not only promoted hate but seemed to incite violence as well (as, unfortunately, predicted).
Spencer’s supporters were in Gainesville, Florida, to listen to the white nationalist speak at the campus on Thursday while several protesters stood together outside the building to show their opposition to Spencer’s ideology.
At some point later that night, William Fears, 30, Colton Fears, 28, and Tyler Tenbrink, 28, were arrested. According to police, at least two of the three arrestees were involved with a shooting. All three men were charged with attempted murder.
The incident took place just outside the university as anti-Spencer protesters were readying to leave.
As Tenbrink and the two Fears started to make Nazi salutes and heckle some protesters, Tenbrink pulled out a gun, police said. As the brothers urged him to use it, Tenbrink then fired one shot, thankfully missing the group. Tenbrink then fled the scene in a silver Jeep after jumping a police barricade to avoid protesters.
Twenty miles out of town, an off-duty Alachua County Sheriff’s Office deputy saw the man along with the Fears brothers. He arrested the three men at about 9 p.m. and took them to the Alachua County jail.
Tenbrink is being held on a $3 million bail while the brothers’ bails are $1 million each.
This isn’t the first time the three men were involved in a white nationalist event. They also participated in the Charlottesville, Virginia, white nationalist march, the largest gathering of its kind in years.
While we’re glad nobody was injured, it’s terrifying to think that even when outnumbered, these extremists are willing to inflict pain on their critics, without any fear of backlash.
It’s time to stand strong and united against this type of hate, showing white nationalists like Spencer that we will not stand for the bigoted philosophy he has been spreading across the country.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton