Jimmy’s Denver Gazette Column | Beth McCann upholds mob justice

Written by on August 13, 2021

On May 28, 2020, Jennifer Watson was driving west on Colfax when she unexpectedly came upon a protest of the police killing of George Floyd three days earlier in Minneapolis. The unpermitted gathering had taken over the streets. Unsure what to do, Watson followed a few other cars as they turned left onto Broadway.

Suddenly and without warning, an angry mob of demonstrators swarmed her car, screaming. Her dog, Blue, started barking in the front passenger seat. Watson fearfully stopped the vehicle for a moment. She nudged the car a bit, then stopped again.

Instantly, the mob was “smashing the sides of my car, the back of my car, I felt things hitting my car,” she recalled. 22-year-old Max Bailey jumped on the hood of her car “and started punching my windshield. That is when I just grew absolutely terrified.”

“As soon as they started getting more physical – and especially when Max Bailey jumped on the hood and started smashing the windshield – my dog went into an immediate panic. Panting, not breathing. I’m trying to keep myself calm, while trying to comfort him. It was chaos.”

“Oh my god, they’re on my car, their smashing my windshield!” she cried to her boyfriend over the phone. “My boyfriend is like, ‘Call the cops!‘ ’They’re everywhere!‘ ”Well then get out!’”

Here was a 37-year-old woman, alone in her vehicle, just trying to get home. She is surrounded and physically attacked by a mob that has taken over the streets. Meanwhile, her dog barks in horror. It’s loud. It’s intense.

What would you do?

Watson’s front wheels were already turned in a right-hand direction when Bailey jumped on her car and when he jumped off. So, when she pressed the gas to flee the onslaught, her car turned and lurched toward Bailey, striking him. He fell down. Bailey got up, seemingly intact, but a woman latched onto the passenger window “for a block, maybe longer.”

“Everyone says it was this 90-degree turn,” Watson recounts. “Again, crash reconstruction shows that I was turned that direction. I did not even know until I saw that video that I had hit anybody.” She couldn’t see out the right side of her window, and there were still people to the left of her car.

Watson called police shortly thereafter to report the incident. She knew she was the victim. Bailey didn’t call the cops. He knew he wasn’t the victim.

When social media shared video purporting to show an intentional collision into a simple protester, it spread like wildfire. Watson was quickly doxed by Antifa. An online petition called for her arrest. She was maligned all over and received vicious threats of all kinds. An aerial picture of her house appeared.

Watson had recently founded her own interior design business and was enthusiastically taking on clients. She was forced to close down her company because of the fallout. On July 7, 2020, McCann’s office indicated they would file felony charges. However, two weeks later, they filed misdemeanor charges. Recently, a jury acquitted Watson of assault but found her guilty of reckless driving. She was sentenced on August 2.

These weren’t innocent pedestrians crossing the street. This was a mob committing false imprisonment. Did McCann care about that? No. In McCann’s World, the burden falls on a driver to allow themselves to be imprisoned by “protesters.” Any driver who tries to escape false imprisonment is to be punished — not her captors.

This kind of false imprisonment wasn’t uncommon in last year’s riots in Colorado. A July 27 letter to the Aurora City Council recounted a family that was held captive by a mob on Southbound 225 before Alameda. The father, his wife and their young children were stopped for a while before he slightly opened the door and asked that they be allowed to pass. His “little girl had needed to go to the bathroom for over 20 minutes.”

“Do you think your daughter is more important than what we are trying to say here and Elijah’s life? Fk you!” one captor shouted. Other captors suggested she should pee in a water bottle or on the side of the road. According to his wife, many protesters yelled profanity at them. “Then a guy pulled my wife’s door handle to try and open the door (which was locked).” Finally, they let them free.

Last summer, under the guise of protests, there were many incidents of drivers being imprisoned in their cars by demonstrators.

Watson was charged in her incident — very publicly — on July 20, 2020. The Aurora family was imprisoned on July 27. Bailey was very publicly treated as a victim. He was never criticized or criminally charged for his attack; nor were his allies. In fact, according to DA spokesperson Carolyn Tyler, McCann even “first communicated her conclusions with (Bailey) before communicating her findings more broadly” — a rare, personal phone call from the DA. McCann’s mob justice emboldened such actions.

Beth McCann expects Denverites to let themselves be detained in their vehicles for however long the mob wishes. For Denver’s DA, the rule of law doesn’t matter. The rule of the mob does.

Click here to read the rest of Jimmy’s August 13 column at The Denver Gazette, a sister publication of The Washington Examiner.

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