On Thursday, PJ Media posted an article about a resident of New York City who attended the rally for President Trump in Washington on January 6th.
The article reports:
Joseph Bolanos doesn’t wear horns, isn’t a crackpot, and isn’t a terrorist. He has been a neighborhood watch leader in New York City’s Upper West Side for 23 years. In 2012, as president of the West 76th Street Block Association, Bolanos put up signs reading “rat xing” to shame the city into cleaning up the garbage. The neighbors loved him. Now the 69 year old is a neighborhood pariah. One neighbor who brought him Thanksgiving dinner recently wrote him a nasty-gram wishing him death. “I hope Antifa gets you,” the note read.
What changed? Bolanos attended the Trump speech on January 6. He did nothing wrong. He didn’t breach the U.S. Capitol. He never even went inside. He watched the former president deliver a “boring” speech, left early, went back to his friend’s hotel (where he has geotagged photos to prove it), and later went to the Capitol building, where he stood outside with friends after it was all over.
His Leftist neighbors, shocked that he went to see Trump and “had those views,” called the FBI January 6th tip line to report him.
“I opened the door and there’s about 10 tactical police soldiers and one is pointing a rifle at my head. [They had] a battering ram and a crowbar.”
It could have been worse. He could have been raided and then rounded up and imprisoned in solitary confinement for little to no reason as hundreds of other people have following the Capitol riot on January 6.
The article continues:
NBC, tipped off about the raid in advance, was there when the FBI Terrorism Task Force raided the apartments with battering rams and carried out box after box of items taken from the homes. The NYC affiliate reported in February:
Several neighbors claimed the man boasted of being at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riots and took video of the event. Some said he called it a great day on the street, at a local cafe and on social media.
“I was walking down the street and I overheard him bragging about having been there and having taken video,” said neighbor Dennis Regan.
[…] One neighbor said that Bolanos had been “a great leader of the block and helped us in all kinds of ways,” but also said he didn’t know Bolanos “had those views.” Some some said the man who had become a face of the block had changed from the man they once knew.
“I used to talk with him a lot, but lately he never said anything,” said Luis Aguilar, a superintendent in the area. “He would walk by, he wouldn’t say hello like he used to do before.”
Although he has not been charged, sources familiar with the investigation say charges could come in the coming days. Sources told NBC New York the FBI wants to look at his electronics as prosecutors in D.C. decide on specific counts.
The article notes:
It has been four months and Bolanos hasn’t gotten back his devices, nor have any charges been filed against him.
Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident. I know someone personally who attended the rally (did not enter the Capitol because she became aware that the people urging the crowd on were not part of the pro-Trump rally), had her PayPal account canceled, and had an employee quit, calling her a traitor. This is not acceptable in our Republic. Holding an opposing political view is not grounds for arrest or losing freedom. We need to stand up against this regardless of which party is doing it. Otherwise we will never have the open debate we need to find the best answers to America’s problems.