Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Right Wing Militia in Redding


May 19, 2021 2:33 p.m. 

A right-wing effort to oust several county supervisors in Shasta County, California has devolved into threats, fist fights, and… overly sentimental documentary filmmaking? 

The Los Angeles Times had the story Wednesday of the tumultuous scene in Redding, California, the largest city in Shasta County and the scene of months of simmering tensions over state public health orders. 

The angst has taken the form of an effort to recall three county commissioners who supported COVID-19 restrictions. But it has taken more violent forms as well.

Most recently, supporters of the recall effort are accused of accosting one a local gadfly — a comic who’s skewered the recall online.

“They’re all just bullies, you know,” the comic, Nathan Pinkney, told the Times of his aggressors. “They’re all so sensitive and volatile.” 

Pinkney’s main foe, and the focus of the Times’ report, is a local man and militia group member named Carlos Zapata. Zapata (pictured above) is accused of throwing a drink at Pinkney on May 5 after spotting him at a restaurant where Pinkney worked in Redding. Later that night, police say, an acquaintance of Zapata’s punched Pinkney and held a large CO2 bottle at him in a “threatening manner” before leaving the area. 

Zapata denied to the Times that he personally laid a hand on Pinkney, and said that as a bar owner, he saw fights “eight times a night” that didn’t make the news.

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