How Trump’s D.C. rally ignited a firestorm of threats and controversy in a small New Hampshire town

A small New Hampshire group is reeling from the aftershocks emanating from Washington, D.C., in the wake of final week’s rally staged by President Donald Trump, held shortly earlier than a mob sieged the Capitol constructing.

Officials in Troy, positioned about 10 miles south of Keene, have closed Town Hall, save for appointment-only companies, after changing into besieged with threats in telephone calls and emails, Dick Thackston, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, instructed Boston.com Wednesday.

“We can’t even take a phone call,” he stated. “We can’t even answer the phones because they just ring continuously. Hang up the phone, and another one calls.”

The connecting thread between the unrest in Washington and that which was whisked into Troy is native Police Chief David Ellis, 60, who attended the president’s occasion outdoors the White House.

In his rambling speech on Jan. 6, Trump continued to push unsubstantiated election fraud claims and urged supporters to “fight like hell.” His tackle has been underneath sharp scrutiny over the previous week and shaped the idea of the impeachment championed by House Democrats who allege the president’s words incited the subsequent riot, throughout which five people died.

Ellis was forthcoming about his attendance at the president’s political event to a reporter for New York magazine whereas he was in Washington. But he additionally denounced the Capitol break-in by different members, telling the publication the transfer “was not going to solve a thing, and then to see the police get treated the way they were, it’s ridiculous.”

Ellis, nevertheless, didn’t second-guess his choice to prove that day, even in mild of the revolt, in keeping with the journal.

“There’s a lot of Trump supporters that are awesome people,” he stated. “Like me.”

In the week since, native officers have obtained a seemingly endless litany of complaints and threats, many of them calling for Ellis to be faraway from his put up primarily based off his presence on the rally, in keeping with Thackston.

The calls for have rocked the quaint town of simply over 2,000. Most come from locations outdoors Troy, now bearing the far-reaching ire of a nation divided.

“Many of them are profane. Many of them are threatening,” Thackston stated. “Many of them are not very bright.”

Officials turned over the threats to the police, who suggested that although the tirades are moderately obscure, the town — whose predominant workplace homes two full-time and two part-time workers — ought to take precautions, he stated.

In an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio final week, Ellis stated he attended the rally as a spectator as a result of “it was going to be a historic thing.”

He turned away from the crowds heading to Capitol Hill out of worry that the scene may unravel into violence, he stated.

“I witnessed the people harassing the riot police that were getting in their gear on Constitution Ave., as I’m walking back to get to the train station at Union Station,” he instructed the information station. “It was ridiculous, people were giving police such a hard time.”

Ellis has been a supporter of Trump since 2016, partially as a result of he misplaced his stepdaughter to an opioid overdose, he stated. He thought Trump can be the very best official to sort out the drug epidemic.

“I just believed in a lot of the things he said he could do,” Ellis stated. “Where the other politicians didn’t make me feel that way.”

Ellis didn’t reply to a message left by Boston.com with a dispatcher on Wednesday afternoon.

Last 12 months, Ellis’s assist for Trump took the shape of a “Trump 2020 — No More Bulls***t” flag and indicators backing the president that have been displayed in his workplace, in keeping with NHPR.

The show was captured on an officer’s physique digital camera video, and photos in flip prompted the Cheshire County Attorney to advocate Ellis take all of it down, the information station stories. Ellis stated he complied.

“If I realized it was wrong, I definitely wouldn’t have done it to begin with,” he stated.

On the Troy town website, guests to the house web page are actually knowledgeable Town Hall will function underneath regular hours, however the doorways will stay locked “for the time being.”

“Sorry, but this seems to be required by prudence at this time,” the web page says.

According to NHPR, Thackston, a Republican himself, denounced the siege on the Capitol constructing and stood by Ellis in a public assertion delivered throughout a Jan. 7 board assembly. He known as the chief an “honest, competent, hardworking public servant.”

Asked Wednesday whether or not Ellis ought to resign, Thackston stated, “There would be no basis for that.”

If the board was to take any motion, it might be a personnel matter, he stated.

“And (Ellis’) actions would be protected both by the First Amendment and the Hatch Act. So there’s those two things,” Thackston stated. “But aside from that, we’ve no plan for additional public remark presently.

“The general sense is that … the people in the town of Troy know this man and like this man, and respect this man (and) are more than happy with him,” he continued. “And this is a guy who is more likely to be pulling a kitten out of a tree, walking an old lady to the grocery store, helping somebody from out of town change the tire on their car. That’s who this guy is.”

Troy sits nestled “at the base of beautiful Mount Monadnock,” the town web site boasts. Within its borders, guests will discover “all the charms of a small, self-sufficient New England community.”

“This has been the most bizarre thing — that we would be involved in this and national news,” Thackston stated of the controversy.

The final time Troy skilled something remotely much like this was seemingly nearly a century in the past.

In 1926, the town was entrance and heart when President Calvin Coolidge dropped by for lunch on his manner from Boston to his household’s home in Vermont, in keeping with Thackston. Coolidge left behind a $1 tip on the native inn, he stated.

“Troy is a small New Hampshire town,” Thackston stated. “You know, in 1918, they sent people to drive back the Hun. In 1942, they sent people to fight Hitler. They went to Korea. They went to Vietnam, and they came home — and they just asked to live in peace in their town.”

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