I Went To School With A Domestic Terrorist
It's true. Jeffrey Alexander Smith, Coronado High School Class of 2005, was one of the thousands of insurrectionists that stormed the Capitol on January 6th, 2021. As soon as he started posting pictures and videos of himself inside the Capitol on his social media accounts, old classmates began sharing it far and wide as a warning that someone from Coronado was a part of such treasonous nonsense.
I was in Coronado at the time, watching the coverage on the news in real time. I was completely shocked at all the events of the day, and how they snowballed into an attempted coup gone awry. We were this close to watching elected officials get executed on the Capitol steps, all because their fat loser manbaby of a President didn't win re-election. They're willing to become domestic terrorists for that guy?! A guy who wouldn't piss on them even if they were on fire?
So I was understandably angry when I saw Jeffrey Alexander Smith (know simply as 'Alex' in high school) with that stupid grin on his face posing with his hand up in the air from inside the Capitol building. I know Coronado is incredibly conservative. It's a combination of rich old white people, military veterans and military families. It couldn't be more conservative of a city if it tried. But to let the extremists such as Alex fester and thrive in a conservative bubble to the breaking point? I had to write to the Coronado Eagle & Journal about it:
"On January 28th, FBI Agents arrested Coronado resident Jeffrey Alexander Smith for his alleged role in the breach of the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. That’s right, Coronado, one of our own was involved in the domestic terror attack that killed 7 people.
I went to Coronado High School with Alex. We were both in the graduating Class of 2005. He later went on to join the U.S. Army for 5-years before being honorably discharged. He was a patriot then, but he lost that privileged the moment he breached the U.S. Capitol with the intent to overthrow the government and bring harm to members of Congress. All to support a Mad Tyrant who has sown seeds of disinformation and claimed election fraud for the past 4-years.
It wasn’t just Republican supporters from lower-income communities across the country, who were never granted the opportunity to a decent education, that stormed the Capitol. It was people like Alex who grew up here in Coronado, who attended CHS and was given every opportunity to succeed in life. Notice how many people who complained about their Trump 2020 signs being switched-out for ‘A Racist Lives Here’ suddenly removed their election signs and flags altogether after January 6th? It’s because they realized how truly brainwashed the rest of the world now thinks of them, condoning this attack on our democracy. Condoning Alex’s behavior and participation in the madness.
I hope members of my graduating class, as well as all previous and future graduates of Coronado High School, unite with me condemning Jeffrey Alexander Smith for his actions, and hope he faces the consequences to the fullest extent of the law. He has brought a blemish to this once proud community, and shown how truly far we as a nation have fallen because of Trump and his rabid cult."
And of course, the Eagle & Journal didn't want to publish it citing the investigation was ongoing. Bullshit. They didn't want to publish it because it puts Coronado in a very poor light as a city which not only tolerates that kind of behavior, but supports it. Alex was living at his parents home in Coronado for some time when he was arrested. His parents had their home decked-out in TRUMP 2020 flags and banners, and even paid for his bail and airplane ticket back to Washington D.C. to appear in federal court. I find it funny that after January 6th, his parents took down all their Trump signs as if people wouldn't put two-and-two together when Alex's picture started making the rounds online.
Here's what I remember of Alex in middle school and high school; He was never his own person, but always a follower of others. He played lacrosse, and would hang with the popular kids and jocks. I also remember he was never that bright, always a few fries short of a Happy Meal. He was always making jokes or ended up being the punchline of them. I thought after graduation, I'd probably never hear about him ever again, and he would fade from memory like so many other classmates. Little did I know how wrong I would be.
There haven't been any updates on his case so far, and believe me I've been keeping a close eye. What I do know is that the Eagle & Journal has no problem continuing to publish letters supporting Trump's "Big Lie" about election fraud, and why the country has gone to hell under Biden's first month in office. It's absolutely absurd. All the more reason to take Coronado to task for harboring fugitives and domestic terrorists.
The Republican playbook of gaslighting, obstructing, and projecting (also known as the G.O.P.) is still alive and well, wanting to distract from their own actions and blame it on others such as BLM or Antifa (aka 'anti-fascism'). It was domestic terrorists who stormed the Capitol in January, not BLM or Antifa. Trump supporters who were there proudly take credit for it, and are pissed people are saying Antifa did it. Even FBI Director Christopher Wray said on the record there were no signs of Antifa or BLM having anything to do with the attack, and cited domestic terrorists like Alex as the true culprits.
The sooner Merrick Garland is confirmed as Attorney General, the sooner we can fight back against white supremacy in this country, no matter where it lurks. I'm not sure how Alex's saga will end, but hopefully it's behind bars where he deserves to stay for a long time.
So Alex received his sentencing in federal court today, and the results are unsurprising.
"The prosecution's sentencing memorandum had asked for a five-month sentence for Smith, but on Tuesday, the judge handed down a sentence of 90 days in jail, followed by two years of probation, which would include 200 hours of community service, and an order to pay $500 in restitution, according to a Department of Justice official."
A slap on the wrist for attempting to overthrow the government. People have gotten harsher sentences for traffic violations. It's been incredibly obvious that the Department of Justice doesn't want to prosecute the Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol because they don't want to be seen as targeting a political party, and because of it, more coup attempts will receive the green light. I won't even bother with the hypocrisy of what kind of sentence Alex would have received if he wasn't white and had drugs on him.
To recap, if you want to storm the Capitol and get away with it, all you have to be is:
I bring up apologetic, because while the judge was going to give Alex an extra few months in jail, Alex's apology for his actions melted the judge's icy heart.
"U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton said Smith’s apology was convincing. The judge handed down a term of three months but deferred the sentence until a hearing set for March 15, when he will hear briefing on whether Smith can legally be given an additional two years of probation."
God Bless America. I can't wait to see what the next chapter of Alex's life entails. Knowing Coronado, they'll probably throw him a welcome home parade and encourage him to run for public office.