Alt-Right furry, Benjamin "Polybun" Smith, charged with murder of 60 year old Portland woman
The OPB reports that Benjamin Smith, known in the fandom under his fursona name “Polybun”, faces murder and attempted murder charges after he confronted protesters before opening fire into the crowd. Four were injured and one, Brandy Knightly, a sixty year old woman, lost her life in the attack.
Connections to the fandom were fished out by the local Portland community furries as images of the attacker made the rounds. One of the first to report on this to social media was Triss Winters, a furry left-wing activist out of Portland who recalled when Polybun was removed from one of his house parties a decade ago due to him brandishing a knife and threatening to stab someone who took a photo of him at the event.
Furries dug up data as misinformation spread
While furries of social media were sharing the information they had on the suspect, law enforcement released erroneous information to Reuters that the homicide was due to an altercation with a homeowner against the protestors. This narrative of a homeowner defending his property made its way around social media circles that tend to not look at left-wing protests with any favor.
However, the attack didn’t happen at a residence like the word homeowner would imply, but at Normandale Park. In addition, video of weapons being confiscated from the shooter’s residence later indicates that the individual lived in a multi-residential complex, and not a house. This would later to be found out to be the Rose City Terrace, found just south of the park where the murder occurred.
People in the fandom released a variety of historical conversation captures that were deemed as warning signs in the shooter’s hostile behaviors. This negative behavior of Polybun’s also showed up here shortly on Flayrah, when he left a nasty comment on the obituary of Furp thirteen years ago.
This was tame compared to other reported behaviors. Ariadne Conill indicated that they had informed the police of Ben’s threatening behavior back in 2007. This was because Polybun acquired the identifying information of people on the staff of a service called Audacious following the closure of Gentoo. He believed it was a conspiracy of those who ran Audacious to strongarm the recommendation Gentoo had given to their users to use it as a replacement for them. They are unaware of any action taken due to the police reports.
The press did get around to following this lead, with the Rolling Stone posting information and interviews they had with furries such as Deo, Patch, Ariadne, and GreenReaper.
An Alt-Furry Response
One user of the Telegram Group “Make Furry Great Again” made a statement about the situation of their user Polybun after the shooting, but prior to the charges against them being levied:
No I’m not in contact with [Polybun], nor do I know anyone that is. I don’t have any inside information, and my knowledge is limited to what’s circulating in the media. I’m just as shocked and confused as everyone else.
I’ve known Poly for years, but we’ve never met in person. We aren’t particularly close, and we’ve probably spent more time bickering at each other than being friendly. He’s an abrasive asshole, but still a good man at heart. He’ll give the shirt off his back to his friends.
I don’t believe he would start shooting unprovoked. I’m withholding my judgment on the situation until more information is released.
There is a weighted language in the second paragraph where the one making the statement is trying to embrace someone they knew was one of their comrades, but is also distancing in case the worse news were to come to pass. One reading this should wonder how one could conclude that a person would give their shirt off their back to a friend when they never witnessed their behaviors in person and only know them through a political chatroom.
This social behavior is similar to that of how the alt-right treats those who stormed the United States Capital on January 6th. Singing their praises amongst one another, yet in public claiming they were false flag “AntiFa sympathizers” and leaving them to fend for themselves against pending charges. It is important for those in political organizations such as these to know that those within those groups may attempt to provoke you into doing things for their cause, and will toss you at the first sign of trouble. The Foot Clan is your family, as it were.
And while the statement claims Polybun didn't show signs they would shoot someone unprovoked, it should be noted that the charged shooter was quoted in the chatroom for the convention Free Fur All indicating that if someone is confronted by those in the left wing, they should be the first to open fire.
[“Liberal Commies”] are better armed than you think… and much more willing to shoot. [...] There had better be no hesitation on your part, do not be the second one to draw and fire. - Polybun
While some may see words as just merely words, it is important that when a dog frequently growls, there is a far greater chance they'll bite.