16 year olds Revel Rhodes and Patrick "Rodent" Pierce are the most wanted criminals in Acheron. Posters plastered across the city feature their yearbook photos next to a list of offenses typically attributed to hardened terrorists. Their names and charges are repeated in scrolling news tickers at the bottom of every screen. A reward is offered for their capture.
Rhodes and Pierce are said to be the masterminds behind the political demonstration that devolved into a riot at North Acheron High School, killing 4 and injuring countless others.
Their official charges include:
• INCITING RIOT: Organizing, encouraging, and/or instigating ten or more persons to engage in
tumultuous and violent conduct of a kind likely to create public harm. (misdemeanor)
• FELONY RIOTING: Involvement in a riot or disturbance that takes place on government
property and/or results in property damage. (felony)
• SEDITION: The act of inciting revolt or violence against a lawful authority with the goal
of destroying or overthrowing it.
• DESTRUCTION of GOVERNMENT PROPERTY: Malicious destruction of any property
belonging to the government or an agency thereof. (Less than $250 - misdemeanor. Greater
than $250 - felony.)
• CONSPIRACY to COMMIT INSURRECTION: Engagement in organizing, planning or
otherwise instigating violent conduct against the government or an agency thereof involving 2 or
more people. (felony)
Given only this information, it is easy to understand why the media at large is painting the pair as a significant and dangerous threat to the community. The problem? Primary source evidence keeps turning up suggesting that Rhodes and Pierce had little if anything to do with the violence at NAHS, and authorities are willfully ignoring it.
Rhodes, and to a lesser extent Pierce, have been definitively linked to the initial disruption that occurred on the morning of Sept. 2. Classmates recorded the incident and shared the video with other students. Authorities say this incident was the call to action that signaled co-conspirators to begin the larger demonstration. I have watched the video multiple times. All I have seen is an emotional outburst from a frustrated kid who's probably a little too smart for her own good.
When the video begins, we see Rhodes (blonde, pretty, about as threatening as a butterfly) walking to her desk with a textbook while complaining about inaccuracies and omissions. NAHS Principal O'keefe is in the classroom as well. He demands Rhodes give up the book, reinforcing her claims of censorship and provoking her defiance. O'keefe completely mishandles the situation and begins to chase Rhodes around the room, demanding she return the book.
Like a dog with a slipper, Rhodes dodges this way and that, keeping the book from his reach as she rattles off a list of grievances. There's no real continuity to her message. She jumps from topic to topic, her rage growing as each new injustice pops into her head. Some of her classmates smirk. Others cheer her on. They appear surprised and fairly amused. O'keefe is making a fool of himself.
The video climaxes with Rhodes standing on a desk at the front of the room. She denounces the absurdity of the Freedom Restoration and condemns the government for using revisionist history to glorify and justify their actions. O'keefe struggles at the back of the room, his foot caught in the straps of a backpack tossed carelessly in the aisle. Rhodes concludes her rant by ripping the offending pages from the textbook, throwing them into the air, and walking out.
She walked out. Not just out of the classroom, but out of the building. We have video taken by a student which clearly shows Rhodes, followed by Pierce, walking out of the classroom, down the hall and through the exit. The clock on the wall reads 9:47.
We know from officials that teachers were not reporting disruption or violence in their classrooms until around 10:30, nearly 45 minutes after Rhodes and Pierce leave the building. Social media posts from students back this up. Rhodes is a primary topic of discussion and debate, sparking more than one physical confrontation between students, but there is no evidence that anyone saw or heard from either Rhodes or Pierce at any time after they are witnessed exiting the building. There is also no evidence of any organized or premeditated action carried out by Rhodes, Pierce, or any other student.
We have seen other disturbing evidence though. Photos of faculty assaulting students. Video of a school resource officer slamming a female student to the ground. Accusations that administration allowed Early Enlistment Cadets to use physical force against other students. We even have a video from a faculty member that names a member of the administration as the shooter who killed Principal O'keefe.
None of this evidence has been publicly acknowledged by city officials or DSF, who possess the security footage which would confirm or disprove it. Instead, their full attention seems to be focussed on a teenager who mouthed off to an administrator and tore up a book, and her friend who doesn't appear to have done anything at all.