Day 3: But Weren’t Their Own Teammates Against Them?

Thank you for joining us for day three of our week-long Free Raven 23 Fact Series: What You Should Know About the Raven 23 Case. Today, we address one of the most common misconceptions—and widely misreported issues—of the Raven 23 case, namely that the eight non-defendant Raven 23 teammates that the DOJ called to testify “against” Dustin, Evan, Nick, and Paul accused them of committing crimes in Nisur Square.

While several of the teammates who testified at trial fully support Dustin, Evan, Nick, and Paul, we do not pretend that our men are on friendly terms with all of their former teammates (some of whom were fired following Nisur Square). Friendships or lack thereof aside, however, what is important is that every single one of the eight non-defendant members of Raven 23 whom the government called to testify “against” our men either testified that Raven 23 faced a definite car bomb threat or a reasonably-perceived car bomb threat from a white Kia.

Some of these men (who were in the position to see it) also testified that Raven 23 took incoming enemy fire. This testimony is consistent with real-time reports of a two-way firefight by Raven 23, reports of a two-way firefight from other witnesses who were not members of Raven 23, and physical evidence that one of Raven 23’s vehicles was disabled by enemy gunfire.

In addition to the testimony regarding threats faced by Raven 23 and physical evidence supporting that testimony, when pressed at trial, even the two or three members of Raven 23 who clearly have bad blood with some of our men could only point to misconduct or crimes committed in Nisur Square by admitted wrongdoer, Jeremy Ridgeway. And these are the members of Raven 23 the government called to SUPPORT its case. The jury never got to hear from the five other living members of Raven 23 that the government did not call. So, no, their own teammates were not “against” them. Rather, as a legal matter, every single teammate the government called presented testimony which supports our men’s claims that Raven 23 faced legitimate threats in Nisur Square.

Thank you for joining us for day three of our series in which we clarified some of the evidence presented at trial that is commonly misrepresented in news reports about the case. While it is important to clarify the evidence that the jury actually heard at trial, for tomorrow’s post, we’ll address why our fight to Free Raven 23 is based on so much more than our disagreement with the jury’s view of the evidence.