Timothy White, survivor of the U.S. Navy Chattanooga shooting, has been the subject of considerable media attention yesterday after national columnist Allen West posted an article on his website indicating that the Navy intended to prosecute Lt. Cmdr. White for “discharging an unauthorized weapon on federal property.”
Allen’s column sparked considerable protest and public outrage after he urged his readers to “Flood the phones of SecNav Ray Mabus and SecDef Ash Carter and ask them whose side they’re on. Demand the charges being brought against Lt.Cmdr White be immediately dropped. If those charges are not dropped, [Allen West] will personally lead the charge to have Carter and Mabus removed from their positions.”
Today, in a report from the Chattanoogan, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy has denied reports that disciplinary charges will be filed against Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White regarding his actions during the Chattanooga shooting, in a post on Facebook and other social media sites.
“Stories of Navy personnel being charges with an offense are not true. There is still a long way to go in reviewing the facts of this tragic incident, but at this time we can confirm no service member has been charged with an offense.”
As the Inquisitr has previously reported, Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White was carrying, and did discharge, his personal firearm during the Chattanooga shooting. At least two personal weapons belonging to military personnel were recovered by investigators at the Reserve Center. According to official Navy policy, carrying personal weapons on federal property is a UCMJ violation, as is discharging them on federal property, and by law, Navy JAG must review this case — they are not allowed to cherry-pick which cases they review. The public outrage is, in this case, completely unwarranted.
Lt. Cmdr. White has explicitly indicated that he was in possession of a personal weapon and that he did return fire, actions that are subject to review, by law. The U.S. Navy has made clear that no charges have been brought against Navy personnel at this time, and that the investigation is ongoing.
During the shooting, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez killed four marines and one sailor with a handgun and an assault rifle, including Gunnery Gt. Thomas Sullivan, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire Wells, and Navy petty officer second class Randall Smith. Lt. Cmdr. White confirmed to the Knoxville Free Press on Thursday that he had used his personal weapon in an attempt to stop Abdulazeez.
UPDATE: The Inquisitr has obtained a screenshot of the Navy’s comment denying the charges on Facebook.
[Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Dustin Q. Diaz / U.S. Navy via Getty Images]