Police Contradict Gun Control Spokesman’s Story About Texas Protest

A police spokeswoman told TPM on Tuesday that a spokesman for a gun control group got it wrong when explaining how officers got involved with an armed protest this past weekend in Texas.

The spokesman, Taylor Maxwell of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, told TPM the day before that a restaurant manager had called the cops when armed pro-gun activists showed up in a nearby parking lot on Saturday. The activists from Open Carry Texas were reportedly there to protest a small meeting for the state chapter of the gun control group.

“Manager of Blue Mesa Grill did call the police and a cruiser arrived just as gun advocates were leaving,” Maxwell wrote in an email.

But Tiara Richard, a spokeswoman for the Arlington, Texas police, sent an email to TPM on Tuesday that explained while officers did arrive on the scene, the restaurant manager did not make the call.

“Arlington officers were in the area of Lincoln Square (a North Arlington shopping/restaurant area) Saturday related to knowledge of planned guns rights demonstrations,” Richard wrote. “There were planned protests connected to Urban Shield, which is a training exercise that encompassed First Responders all across North Texas this past weekend. So officers responded to this particular restaurant based on seeing the demonstration group.”

“Officers were not called to the location by restaurant management or aware that the Moms Demand Action group was inside the location,” she continued. “We did not learn of them being in the restaurant until after the fact. There were no arrests due to there being no criminal violations seen by officers or reported by anyone else.”

Maxwell’s account also ran counter to what someone from his own group told the website Think Progress for an article on Sunday. In that report, a spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action was quoted as saying that the restaurant manager opted not to call the police out of fear of “inciting a riot.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK