by JAMES STOUT
EDITOR'S NOTE : James Stout is a San Diego-based journalist. You can donate to him on cash app at $jamesstout and venmo at @james-stout-5.
In late July 2020, activists in San Diego were planning a BLM march in La Mesa. There hadn’t been a large action there since banks burned and the cops shot a grandmother’s eye out (within policy apparently) in late May. After those banks burned, a group of anti-BLM locals had sprung up under the name “Defend East County”. Soon DEC had over 20,000 members in their Facebook group and Justin Haskins, a perpetually sunburned Arizona resident, claimed leadership of all of them.
Among that group was Grey Zamudio, age 33. To the uneducated eye, his Facebook page might look like he was a soldier or private security contractor. His banner image features a suppressed, short barreled, and non-California compliant AR15. Zamudio was a long time airsoft enthusiast, and some of his shooting pictures could be mistaken for airsoft. When he played airsoft, Zamudio used the callsign “Shadow Moses” in homage to the computer game Metal Gear Solid. (He seems to have had a somewhat passing understanding of the plot, or only appreciated that the main character was good at killing people. The game focuses on the evils of war and violence for profit.)
But the guns on his page were all too real.Read more →