KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WATE) – On January 6, Cliff Meteer joined thousands of others at the Capitol to protest what he believed to be the stolen 2020 presidential election.
This protest resulted in property damage, multiple injuries and even death, but Meteer’s report is very different from what happened on live television that day.
“It was a peaceful process in the Capitol. I’ve never seen anything that represented any kind of commotion, ”Meteer said.
The video from that day shows people breaking windows, climbing up the walls of the building and pushing their way into the building.
“We have not been granted our natural rights. We were not allowed to present our case to a court or a jury of our colleagues to determine whether our suspicions were right or wrong. You know, I mean, our rights were stolen from us, ”Meteer said.
Tips from relatives and old friends on Facebook eventually led FBI agents to the house he and his girlfriend share in North Knoxville.
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“There were only a couple of FBI guys and I look around and say oh my god. Is that all because he was in the Capitol on January 6th? ”Holly Houssner, Meteer’s girlfriend, said of the scene.
She and Meteer both believe that he was nonviolent and that his arrest was unnecessary.
“It was a protest and it got a little out of control, but actually finding all these people on Facebook or whatever and then walking into your house and robbing you like I was some kind of mass murderer or something?” This is insane, ”said Houssner.
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Meter was arrested and then released. He waived all preliminary readings in federal court on Tuesday in Knoxville. He is due to appear in federal court in Washington, DC on August 17th
“I was there for myself and my own reasons. There was no coordination with anyone or anything. Just my obligation as an American citizen to protest what I consider to be a great injustice to the people of the United States, ”Meteer said.
When asked if he regretted anything of that day, Meteer said no.