Reports suggest that Native American activist Nathan Phillips has a criminal record
Native American activist Nathan Phillips reportedly has a criminal record that includes charges of assault, escape from prison and various alcohol-related crimes.
The 64-year-old, whose confrontation with Covington Catholic High School students went viral last week, was charged "with escaping from the Nebraska Penal Complex where he was confined [on] May 3" as a 19-year-old, according to a 1974 article in the Lincoln Star.
Later that year, the Omaha Nation elder pleaded guilty to assault and was fined $200. In 1972, 1973 and 1975, he also was charged with underage possession of alcohol, as well as negligent driving.
The Washington Examiner, which looked into his past, also reported that in August 1973 a destruction of property charge against him was dropped, but he was still sentenced to a year of probation for a related charge of alcohol possession by a minor. In December 1978, he was also was charged with driving without a license.
In addition, the news site claims that Phillips appears to have misrepresented his military service in the U.S. Marines.
In April, he was quoted by Vogue as stating: "You know, I’m from Vietnam times. I’m what they call a recon ranger. That was my role."
However, it's been asserted that he spent most of his time in the Marines as a refrigerator technician, following a four-month stint as an anti-tank missileman.
According to the Marine Corps, Phillips, who was then named 'Stanard', was not deployed outside America and never saw combat.
Military records provided to the Washington Examiner also show the 64-year-old served in the Marine Corps Reserve between 1972 to 1976 and held the rank of private, E-1, on April 18, 1975.
Furthermore, records obtained by former Navy SEAL Don Shipley have alleged that he was listed as Absent Without Leave (AWOL) three times.
Phillips, who has allegedly described himself as a "Vietnam times veteran" numerous times, told the Washington Post in 2000 that he had been "a Marine Corps infantryman," without adding that he had been a refrigerator tech for the majority of his service.
The Washington Examiner claims he did not respond to a request for comment about the discrepancies.
National attention turned to the Omaha Nation elder last week when a video of a group of mostly white teen boys wearing MAGA caps seemingly taunting him went viral, prompting widespread outrage.
There was later said to be more to the incident than first believed; a second video showed that, prior to Phillips' arrival, the Covington students were engaged in a confrontation with Hebrew Israelites.
The group, who believe that some black Americans are the descendants of an ancient Israelite tribe and have been associated with antisemitic and homophobic views, appeared to harass the group of boys for their professed fandom of President Trump.
Phillips claimed he approached the students to try to defuse the tension. He recently also stated he doesn't believe Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann's narrative of the incident, but he forgives him regardless.
"Coached and written up for him. Insincerity. Lack of responsibility. Those are the words I came up with, but then I went to go pray about it," Phillips told Savannah Guthrie on NBC's Today show Thursday. "And then I woke up, and I woke up with this forgiving heart. So I forgive him."