Eric Sheppard — the face of an anti-flag protest at Valdosta State University — has been arrested in Tampa, Florida, after being on the run for over a month. But his lawyer says he’s the victim of a huge misunderstanding.
According to Muwali Davis, Sheppard’s attorney, he is “not a threat to the community” and he’s “merely a college kid trying to figure out life under some extraordinary circumstances.”
The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the 21-year-old Sheppard was apprehended Thursday morning at around 11:15 a.m. without incident.
On April 17, Sheppard was videotaped with other black radicals stomping on the American flag as part of a protest on campus. He clashed with Air Force vet Michelle Manhart when she snatched the flag away from the group in an attempt to prevent its desecration. Manhart, a former Playboy model, was briefly detained and banned from campus.
An arrest warrant was later issued for Sheppard after deputies found a gun that belonged to him in a backpack on Valdosta State University’s campus. Authorities said Sheppard was also being investigated by the FBI for possibly making terroristic threats on social media.
Last week, Sheppard published a vicious manifesto filled with hate speech against white people.
WCTV reported that Sheppard was taken to the Hillsborough County Jail, where he will have an extradition hearing “in the near future.”
Sheppard will eventually be transported to Lowndes County for a court hearing.
After Lowndes County deputies believed Sheppard had fled the county, U.S. Marshals assisted in locating him.
Muwali Davis, the attorney, issued the following statement:
Eric’s decision not to fight extradition coupled with his peaceful surrender when arrested, confirms Eric is not a threat to the community. Unfortunately, what appears to be lost in the coverage of Eric’s activism as a student is that he is merely a college kid trying to figure out life under some extraordinary stressful circumstances. Physically he is fine, but mentally he is exhausted from living under the constant fear for his life as a result of the death threats and the bounty placed on his life by self-proclaimed “white supremacist” individuals and organizations. He does not wish anyone any harm and was reacting to the very aggressive and hostile threats of violence against him and the people close to him.
Eric has never been arrested or in any trouble. Even law enforcement authorities in Valdosta have dismissed statements they have made recently regarding Eric as a “publicity stunt”. Eric and his family would like to thank everyone who has prayed for his safe return to Georgia. He looks forward to learning from this experience and having an opportunity to properly process and address everything that has happened after he exercised his 1st Amendment right by engaging in public protest and freedom of speech. He remains committed to being a positive agent of change and helping improve the conditions under which many people in our society continue to struggle in.
WCTV reported that there was “no word yet on whether he will face additional charges after making explicit threats to law enforcement” in his manifesto.
It’s frankly difficult to understand what sort of “extraordinary stressful circumstances” at college would have possessed him to lead flag-stomping demonstrations and make statements that could be considered terroristic threats by authorities.
And while it’s lamentable that his antics attracted the attention of white supremacist groups, that doesn’t excuse his own racist words and actions.
Quoting former Nation of Islam leader and New Black Panther Party chairman Khalid Abdul Muhammad, Sheppard wrote of whites in his 4,700 word manifesto, “we give them 24 hours to get out of town by sundown.”
“I say, if they don’t get out of town, we kill the white men, we kill the white women, we kill the white children, we kill the white babies, we kill the blind whites, we kill the crippled whites, we kill the crazy whites, we kill the faggots, we kill the lesbians, I say god dammit we kill ’em all,” Sheppard continued.
“If they are white kill ‘em all.”
He also advocated killing “all the old crippled crackkkas.”
In the missive, he also proclaimed the superiority of the “Afrikan” people over white European devils.
You All, European Descendants on the Continent and Elsewhere, fit the Definition Perfectly of Devils. No, not a False Spook Devil said to live underground in a fictitious fiery pit but a Devil here on Earth subjecting Afrikan people to a Hellish (Non)Existence.
It is TRUE that Afrikan people are the God Body that gave you, the devils of the planet Earth, a Heaven (Civilization) which before our Presence in Europe was Completely Non-Existent. Not Only are We your Fathers and Mothers Biologically and Genetically in MOST Regards, but we are Also the Fathers and Mothers of Law, Ethics, Morality, Agriculture, Economics, Culture, Spirituality, Art, Mathematics and Every Conceivable High Science in Existence. It was Afrikan People who Pioneered Research and Explorations into these Fields of Knowledge long Before you even began to CRAWL on All Fours Much Less walk Upright and Consume Your Own Babies just to Survive in the Barren Land of Europe. Even your “strongest” argument is weak and poses no threat to Truth.
Anyone who would try to promote the idea that the author of that missive is a “positive agent of change” probably has a nice bridge to sell us, too.