The Killing of Craig Robertson- The Sunday Collage

"Anger is brief insanity." Mom attributed that quote to Hemingway. Having been on the receiving end of mom's wrath more than a few times, that phrase has always made sense.

Craig Robertson, age 75, died in Provo, Utah on August, 9, 2023. He was killed by an FBI tactical team for making threats. He was an Air Force veteran, welding inspector, and wood worker. He had been married twice and widowed twice. He had three children. 

He was not in the best of health and walked with a cane. He loved guns and was a member of the NRA. Robertson was no fan of the democratic party.

To be fair, Robertson had made several threats regarding Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, among others. These were descriptive threats wherein Robertson went into great detail about how he would accomplish the killings of those individuals. We must assume that he actually made those threats on social media, since he never got a chance to explain himself. Not that he would have. Many are listed here.

So Robertson owned many guns, talked with bluster, and even answered the front door holding an AR-15 rifle once after Provo P.D. knocked regarding an incident some time prior. This was an interesting complaint in which two men, in an unmarked van, trespassed onto Roberton's property to make some sort of cable repair. Robertson confronted them and was well within his rights. Apparently, no aggravated assault or other chargeable offense happened that day and Robertson was not arrested. wonders who those guys really were.

It's an oddity, growing up on property in the west, frequented by hunters. If people are going to be on your property, then good conduct suggests that they stop by the house, get permission, or otherwise inform a homeowner of an easement or repair. Failing that common courtesy, you might indeed be met by an armed property owner.

That's the way it was and still is- in parts of Montana and Idaho.

So if a guy is making all of these terrible threats, is armed and not very cooperative, and the President  is arriving in Salt Lake City that day, a mere 60 miles away, what is the solution? 

Is there some interim solution for a person making threats that doesn't involve killing him? Yes. Of course there is.

That's the really bothersome part. Craig Robertson picked up guns and defended his property. Did the Provo Police and the FBI know that? Of course they did. So making a pre-dawn tactical entry onto Mr. Robertson's property meant that he would be awakened to the sound of "flash bang" grenades and immediately attempt to retrieve a gun to protect himself. Knowing all of that, the FBI could simply execute him because undoubtedly if he wasn't actually holding a gun as they entered- he would have one nearby. That was all quite predictable. That's why they used a tactical team and a dynamic entry.

It doesn't hurt that Merrick Garland was one of the people Robertson targeted with his threats. To be sure, the FBI was operating with impunity. Garland wouldn't lift a finger to investigate or charge the FBI with a preventable killing simply because Garland was one of the victims.

They dragged Robertson's body out to the street and covered it with a sheet on the sidewalk for a couple of hours. I am sure he was so thoroughly shot that calling an ambulance was a waste of time.

I waited to hear any sort of press release. I looked for a Provo Police car in video footage. Nothing. But I did find this statement today from the FBI and clipped it. 

"The FBI takes all shooting incidents involving our agents or task force members seriously," the FBI said in a statement. "In accordance with FBI policy, the shooting incident is under review by the FBI's Inspection Division. As this is an ongoing matter, we have no further details to provide."

Forgive me for laughing. I call this, "we investigated ourselves and found we did nothing wrong." In my prior life the local Sheriff would do this. Investigate himself and conclude that his agency did nothing wrong. I should also note his father was an FBI agent. Perhaps that is where he learned that unbiased investigatory tactic.

All of this means this. Robertson was executed. That's the end of it. It will soon be predictably forgotten. The FBI knows that. So do the politicians. The Mayor. The local cops. Me.

As I prepared to write this, I must have read at least 15 different stories and accounts of this incident. The left leaning accounts paint Robertson as some crazy, gun toting, MAGA nut job. The right leaning versions of this story paint Robertson as a quiet, nice man who frequently helped people. Everyone seems to have an agenda today. So forget all of that noise. 

Craig Robertson was by all accounts, in poor health. He may have been depressed as well. But the real telling part of this incident are the threats Robertson made. Who descriptively and publicly states how they would envision and enjoy killing public officials? Who does that? 

Robertson was no different than half the country. He was pissed off about the hijacked election and the failure of anyone to properly investigate it. He was angry at the officials prosecuting former President Trump. There are millions of us like Craig Robertson. The only difference between Mr. Robertson and millions of us who agree with him- is that we can restrain ourselves from making public threats lest we find a tactical team lobbing flash bangs through the front window and ramming our front door.

It is clear to me that Mr. Robertson was angry and mentally ill to such an extent that he no longer had any restraint. Officers on crisis intervention teams could spot this a mile away. That's why we have crisis intervention. To find out what has changed in an individual and help them. They could have called family, his bishop, his friends and neighbors. Officers could have sat down with Craig, "You gotta quit doing this. How are you feeling?" Have you quit taking medications? Are you sleeping well? Intervene. Lure him out with friends and family. A protective custody arrest and examination while Joe was in town. 

One decent cop could have done this. I used to do it all the time and I come with references. I never killed anyone.

One crazy old war story for the road that ties this all together. 

Years ago, we had a giant of a guy that walked all over town carrying an axe. At 6'5", loud, and strong- Howard scared people to death. He would walk into banks, grocery stores, down city streets with a giant orange ax slung over his shoulder. He intimidated people. Carrying an ax is not illegal. One time I conducted a traffic stop on Howard and he jumped out of his vehicle and came running back towards my patrol car with that ax. Until he saw it was me. And then he started laughing uproariously. 

I was scared for Howard. Any other cop could have made a pretty decent case for having to shoot him in self-defense. As much as I grew to love Howard, I was scared for him, and I was always a bit wary. I never fully let my guard down.

You see over time; I understood Howard's depression. He was bi-polar. We talked a lot and I came to know him. Weekly. I began to understand that Howard was simply seeking attention. Howard had been ignored most of his life. People paid attention to him when he walked around with that ax. And when the shit hit the fan, as it often does with guys like Howard, I'd go visit Howard after he asked for me. Eventually Howard quit carrying that ax. We became friends. I looked Howard up a few years ago and found he had died, in his 50's, in Flagstaff, Arizona where he was from. I miss him.

The point is, Craig Robertson didn't need to be killed. I am sure his death will be ruled justified by whatever friendly body says so. The officers who shot him might even feel that it was necessary and justified. Sleep well, gentlemen.

On our patrol cars we had a phrase. Serve and protect. Who was protecting Craig Robertson on August 9? Who had the balls to square off v the FBI? Apparently nobody in Provo. On this car "To Serve and Protect" has gone missing.

There is a lesson here. You can't simply execute someone for running their mouth or soon we may all end up like Craig Robertson. Mr. Robertson, like Howard I think, was just angry and seeking some attention.

That's all it ever was. 

Update: On my "X" account, someone calling themselves "Karl Marx" posted what appears to be a copy of the affidavit used to get the Robertson arrest warrant.

This is an arrest warrant affidavit. Not a search warrant affidavit. Note also that the FBI did nothing back in March on counts one and two. Where was the urgency then? Count 3 occurs just prior to the Presidents arrival. 

Complaint Against Craig Deleeuw Robertson - DocumentCloud

*Update. One week later in Henderson, Tennessee. An almost identical killing with the FBI's boilerplate statement. This one may be worse than Robertson.

*Update 2. Utah County now set to investigate whether killing Robertson was justified or not.


MMinWA said…
There have been several similar executions in the past few months. I think it was a black guy ranting last week that was descended upon and killed. It's just a reminder to the rest of us to take the shit they're dishing out and keep our fucking mouths shut.

Warnings made just in time for reimposing the covid bullshit. I'll tell you, I'm not wearing a mask for access to anything and I'm certainly not getting any injections. Hard as it is to believe but there are millions out there who are going to get those jabs and dutifully wear the masks. I know several & who believe as well that they should be thanked for doing their part to keep unvaxxed safe.
Anonymous said…
Sounds like you’re just telling yourself the narrative you want to hear.
Brian said…
The narrative? That's what happened.

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