On Friday July 21st 2017, a group of less than twelve people started assembling in Health Science Park, at around 5 PM. The park is the location of the grave of Nathan Bedford Forrest, surmounted by an equestrian statue. The Sons of the Confederacy had been at a meeting in the Mason Hall across Union.
We made a video of the events of that day, at Sons of the Confederacy at Health Science park
The earliest police presence was an unmarked black Suburban parked in a front corner of the Office Depot parking lot. The occupants of this SUV never got out, and at some point this vehicle departed. As the Sons’ meeting ended, a couple of hundred Sons straggled across Union and congregated at the Forrest statue.
The story of the event is in the video. There were about five marked UT police vehicles parked and moving around the park from the beginning. Gradually, unmarked Suburbans of the MPD TACT unit started arriving, blue lights flashing, until there was a total of nine TACT SUVs, parked on the north side of Union in front of the park.
After reading this ‘The Intercept’ article our theory now includes the possibility that the MPD brass is aware of a large number of KKK and other hate group “Ghost Skin” members in their ranks, and they were afraid that, if the Sons of the Confederacy had resorted to armed violence, that the MPD supremacists might join in the slaughter. This is the subject of ongoing investigations, by us and by others.
TACT officers turned up at, at least, two previous political events this year. Two vehicles with five officers were at the MLK celebration on February 4th and two vehicles with four officers at the May 1 Immigration March. We assume that TACT also attended the Valero protest on January 15th but have been unable to confirm this. The mustering of the entire on-shift TACT complement on July 21st is, as far as we know, unprecedented.
All the TACT vehicles are black Suburbans, no visible police gear except for half-moon hubcaps. The vehicles have very dark window tinting, so you can’t see the occupants. When the TACT unit is deployed, one TACT officer stays with the vehicle at all times, probably because they have full-automatic weapons, explosives and other gear stored inside. As there are usually two officers per vehicle, that means it takes as many vehicles as deployible TACT officers, hence the nine seen at the Sons of Confederacy event, which was probably the entire on-duty TACT unit, about 18 soldiers. The MPD TACT unit includes one major and two lieutenants.
At MLK march, 4/4/2017 (snipers deployed from one of these vehicles, which had a three man crew) Shelby civilian tag number Z49-55J and one other unidentified TACT vehicle with alloy rims rather than the half-moon hubcaps seen on all the other Suburbans.
At the Immigration March, 5/1/2017 Shelby civilian tag number Z49-27J and one other unidentified TACT vehicle, with four officers.
At the Sons of Confederacy event, Health Science Park, 7/21/2017 Shelby civilian tag numbers: Z49-27J, C85-34S, 136-NLT, 420-VWC, 0F4-3W5, 1960-GA and three unidentified others, where TACT uniformed police were seen enter or leaving the vehicles.
153-SYI is the tag number of the surveillance vehicle in the Office Depot lot. We did not see the occupants of this vehicle and they may belong to some other undercover unit.
If the deployment of the entire TACT force at Health Sciences Park suggests that MPD is doubtful of the loyalty of some of their members, this is a concern in future confrontations. We presume that the TACT members have undergone psychological testing and deeper background investigations and that the MPD brass is more sure that they can count on the actions of this unit.
We are taking steps to obtain additional information and will edit this post when more becomes known.
About nine armored TACT paramilitaries joined the UT cops, and remained until the Sons of the Confederacy members departed, in three coaches parked on the west of the Park. At this point, the TACT soldiers started leaving, and the first uniformed MPD units arrived, blue lights flashing. By 6:30, all the TACT guys had departed, leaving about a dozen marked MPD units.
The reason why so many TACT officers were at the event has been the subject of speculation. If MPD is aware of alt-right “Ghost Skins” in their ranks, we need to know. Soon. Before lives may be at stake. Watch this space.