Federal prosecutors have charged two members of a Lakeland, Florida, family with crimes in connection with the Jan. 6 protests in Washington, D.C.
Olivia Pollock was arrested in June 2021 and was required to wear an ankle monitor while awaiting trial. Her brother, Jonny, was also charged, but has not been apprehended.
Their father, Ben, told me that the federal government accuses the family of being part of an armed militia. He denies that and said the government is targeting conservative Christians who support gun rights and the Constitution.
Olivia Pollock had been scheduled to go on trial in Washington, D.C., on March 6, 2023. A warrant was issued for her arrest after she failed to appear in court. (See interview with Olivia).
A family friend, Joseph Hutchinson, had also been scheduled to appear in court but did not appear. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. “We don’t get a fair shake,” he told me in an interview earlier. See video.
I have been following the Pollock family to better understand their views and the challenges they face as the federal government pursues Olivia and Jonny.
Over the past two years, I have posted video interviews with Pollock family members, their relatives and friends. Both YouTube and Vimeo have removed some of the material because they say it violates their rules.
Vimeo guidelines state:
“Due to its proven capacity to stoke real-world violence, we do not allow content that spreads false or misleading claims about the results of any election within the U.S. In particular, content that claims that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent or stolen or otherwise illegitimate will be removed.”
When I spoke to Olivia in June 2022, she was making art that was to be sold at a silent auction in support of J6 defendants.
“We’re just trying to do everything we can for the guys who are in prison right now, and hopefully help them out, their families. They’re suffering a lot more than we are. I’m out and I’m not stuck in jail,” said Pollock, who wore ankle monitor at that time.
“I tell people all the time. They say how are you doing? I say, ‘We’re free,’ you know, for the most part,” said her father, Ben Pollock, who attended the Jan. 6 protest, but was not arrested.
“We’re not in some Gulag where we’re being tortured for our political beliefs like these other men. By the grace of God, my family is out of prison.”
Also in June 2022, I interviewed Samuel Doolin. His brother, Joshua Doolin, was charged in connection with the Jan. 6 protests in Washington, D.C. and found guilty after a bench trial in March 2023.
“Evil doesn’t sleep,” Samuel Doolin told me.
Samuel was arrested on weapons charges on Dec. 9, 2022. He defended his actions when I spoke to him on Feb. 11. See Ex-Ranger: “I fear God more than I fear man.”
In January 2022, I interviewed Gabriel Pollock, the owner of Rapture Guns and Knives in Lakeland, Florida, and brother of Olivia and Jonny. I also spoke with Thomas Osborne, who took part in the Jan. 6 event. They told me the government investigation has had a profound impact on their lives and that of their family and friends.
The FBI is “just they’re putting more and more pressure on people,” Gabriel Pollock said.
“We still have prisoners, Jan. 6 prisoners, that are still locked up in prison that have not received a court date,” Gabriel Pollock said. “Nobody’s actually gone to trial over this yet, and it’s been over a year. We’re right at that anniversary, right there at the year anniversary, and people still have not received a court date. Our right to a speedy trial is is thrown out the window. When you’re serving a year in prison and you haven’t even stood before a judge, you know there’s something wrong. The system is broken. And that’s why I feel that there is a huge disconnect between the federal government and we, the people, who give the federal government their power. They no longer work for us. They have they have separated themselves from the rule of the people, and they’re working independent of our will. And that’s very scary.” (See video of interview).
I spoke to Ben Pollock again in November 2021.
“They’re still desperately trying to link us to a militia,” he said. “Our house is bugged. They’re listening to everything that’s going on here. They’re watching. They’re spending millions of dollars watching us. And why the American people are letting them get away with it, I don’t know. We need outrage. Where’s the American people’s outrage?
“The J6 people were in the right to, you know, to take our Capitol back, no matter what everybody else says. I’m proud of them. Those are my boys that are locked up in that prison right now. They are my children… And if this country don’t wake up, we’ll all be in there.”
In September 2021, Ben Pollock told me that the federal government’s prosecution of his children has been agonizing.
“When it first happened, I never realized how traumatizing it would be,” he said. “And there was times where I would just cry at the bed and say, ‘Lord, I don’t know how to help Jonny. I don’t know how to help Olivia.’” (See Florida man says God is protecting his son, a fugitive.)
In August 2021, Ben Pollock said he did not regret going to Washington, D.C., that day.
“I don’t know if you know about Christianity, but if you have an unclear conscience, God won’t let you sleep. He will not let you sleep. And when I got home, I told everybody, I said, ‘I don’t have an unclear conscience,’” Ben Pollock said in an interview at his home in Lakeland, east of Tampa. (See Jan. 6 protester: “We’ve lost our country”).
Jonathan Pollock, and his sister, Olivia, were charged with crimes after the Jan. 6 episode. Their father said the U.S. government has unfairly maligned him and his family. “They’re trying to make us out to be like these white supremacists or these, uh, is just the furthest thing from the truth.”
The FBI considers Jonathan Daniel Pollock, 21, to be armed and dangerous, but his family members in Lakeland, Florida, say it’s not true and they fear for his safety. (See Run, Jonny, Run).
I also spoke to Gabriel Pollock in August 2021. He said he worries that the United States is heading toward communism and urges Americans to stand up against what he sees as a “runaway” federal government.
“I see encroachment on the Second Amendment and I see people cowering down,” he said. “They’re talking about hiding their guns. They’re talking about burying their guns. And if it comes to that, you’ve lost. You’ve lost your country and you’re never going to dig those guns up.
“We look at countries around the world that have gone to communism, that have gone to socialism. And every time, the people are silent, the people don’t stand up and they don’t let their voice be heard. And so for right now, I feel like it is so important for people to get out there. And if you have an opportunity to go to a rally to let your voice be heard, now is the time that you need to get off the couch and to go out because our country is being taken away from us. And if we don’t do something about it, it’ll be gone.” (See Gun store owner: Freedom is slipping away in the U.S.).