RS: It was very surreal to sit in an audience and hear the words that I wrote in this book spoken by the actors and see events that I lived being recreated — in some cases pretty close to how it actually occurred. It’s almost like an out-of-body experience where you’re floating and watching things happen. The first time it actually brought a tear or two to my eye when I realized that I had achieved this level — something that I never imagined. All I ever wanted to do was tell my story. It’s a unique story, and I just wanted to get it out there.
DTH: Speaking of the level you’ve achieved, it seems like you’ve done many interviews. How does it feel to be thrust in the spotlight like that?
RS: You have to recognize that you’ve been blessed with good fortune in this regard, and you take it and you run with it. I’m just a kid from El Paso, Texas, as well as my wife. All of this has suddenly came upon me, but we are determined to stay two kids from El Paso, Texas. As God giveth; God taketh away, and this could all end tomorrow. But right now, we’re on a whirlwind roller-coaster ride. We’re going to ride it for as long as we can and see what happens afterwards.
DTH: I’ve seen a lot of people thanking you profusely. Does this happen a lot, and how do you feel about this?
RS: It happens a lot. It feels kind of strange. I’ve been called heroic for doing this, I’ve been called a true American hero for doing this, and I don’t feel any of that. All I was was a cop who had a job to do. I did it to the best of my ability. It was one investigation and when it ended, I moved on to something else. I appreciate the sentiment from people, but I’ve never felt the accolades that they are labeling me with right now, but it is appreciated.
DTH: The one year anniversary of the Charlottesville rally that was seen at the end of the film was just a few weeks ago. How do you feel about far-right protesters marching on college campuses?
RS: Do you want an honest answer? F*** them.
DTH: Do you care to elaborate?
RS: No, that sums it all up. F*** the far-right, and that includes the Republican party and especially Donald Trump.
DTH: Speaking of Donald Trump, he was seen in this film as well. How do you feel the president has shaped the dialogue around race in this country?
RS: He has fomented negative viewpoints on race in this country. He is, in my opinion, the chief white supremacist in America right now. And instead of uniting America, he is separating America on the subject of race. I will sum up this question with the same thing I said to the previous one: f*** Donald Trump.
DTH: The Confederacy was mentioned many times in this movie. My university, the University of North Carolina, is home to one of the many controversial confederate statues in this nation. How do you feel about Confederate statues? Are you for or against their removal?
RS: They should all be removed. The Confederacy was a foreign sovereign nation at the time who fought a war against this country. They were Americans who decided to go against America, therefore they were traitors to the American cause of that time. Therefore, why are we honoring the Confederacy by having statues and other monuments up for those people that took that action? The Confederacy should be completely destroyed in terms of anything pertaining to it. People that go around with the Confederate flag — the Confederate flag should be banned. The statues should be torn down. We need to stop honoring the Confederacy because it is a myth that has been continually perpetrated on the American people for far too long and has caused far too many problems. F*** the Confederate States of America, and all those monuments that are out there. If the southern state of North Carolina doesn’t like what I just said, don’t buy my book — don’t go see the movie.