A year after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, one of the participants who was caught on video assaulting an African-American man has finally been identified. It has been confirmed that the red-bearded man wearing protective eye goggles to guard against pepper spray while attacking counter-protesters, is 29-year-old Michael Miselis. Miselis is an aerospace engineering Ph.D. student at UCLA.
It wasn’t just his easy-to-spot appearance that made Miselis stand out at the Charlottesville protest, it was that he repeatedly, and savagely attacked an African-American man that was on the ground. According to The Hill, Miselis is a member of the Rise Above Movement, commonly known as RAM, and a supporter of Donald Trump.
RAM is identified by the Anti-Defamation League as a California-based white supremacist group composed primarily of otherwise unaffiliated neo-Nazis and racist skinheads that considers itself the premiere MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) group of the Alt-Right. RAM members prepare themselves as a street gang to do physical battle with anyone they deem as inferior, and they have a history of violent street clashes on their rap sheet.
Miselis is employed by defense contractor Northrup Grumman, who has a plant in Redondo Beach, near the UCLA campus. No details have been released on the exact nature of Miselis’ work for Northrup, but it is on record that he does hold a government security clearance as a part of his employment.
When confronted at his house by journalists from PBS Frontline for an interview, Miselis declined to say much more than they had the wrong guy. Miselis’ claim didn’t last long as reporters from ProPublica corroborated the evidence PBS had refuting the claims of innocence and mistaken identity that Miselis maintained. They further uncovered that Miselis had been involved in a violent clash last year at the University of California, Berkeley, where Trump supporters initiated a physical altercation with Trump protesters.
A search of Miselis’ social media accounts also uncovered evidence of his involvement with RAM, although much of the data has now been deleted or hidden from the public. Local law enforcement further confirmed that Miselis was known to them as an active member of RAM.
When Northrup Grumman was approached for comment, Spokesman Tim Paytner dispatched an email that was partially posted on The Hill.
“Northrop Grumman was recently made aware of alleged employee actions that are counter to our values. Northrop Grumman is absolutely committed to the highest levels of ethics and integrity in all that we do, and ensuring that our workplace reflects our values of diversity and inclusion.”
It is unknown at this point if Northrup Grumman has taken any action against Miselis or if his security clearance is under review. Miselis continues to remain unavailable for further comment.