Monday, September 25, 2017

White supremacists infiltrating police departments?

Over the last three years, at least 24 officers — in California, Florida, Missouri, Georgia, and Alabama – have been fired or forced to resign after they were caught exchanging racist texts, emails, or Facebook messages, reported Buzzfeed News.
 Another officer, in South Carolina, was fired after he scrawled a racist slur on a black person’s house last year. In September, a police department in Gainesville, Florida, opened an investigation into an officer who’d made anti-Semitic comments on Facebook. In August, a police chief in Colbert, Oklahoma, resigned after local reporters discovered that he was listed as an administrator on websites selling neo-Nazi merchandise. Since 2009, at least four officers, in Louisiana and Florida, were kicked out of their departments when local officials discovered evidence that they were members of the Ku Klux Klan. One of those officers, from Lake Arthur, Louisiana, initially claimed he had been working undercover at a Klan gathering in 2014, then changed his answer to “standing at a rally against illegal immigration,” then eventually admitted that he had indeed been a member of the group’s Loyal White Knights chapter.
Federal authorities have been concerned about white supremacists infiltrating police departments since at least 2006, when an internal FBI memo stated that investigations into right-wing extremist groups “often” found members who had “active links to law enforcement officers.” The memo, which leaked in late 2016, discussed the possibility of a strategic effort by racist hate groups to embed “ghost skins,” a term used to describe “those who avoid overt displays of their beliefs to blend into society and covertly advance white supremacist causes.” But just as troubling, and perhaps just as hard to catch, is the threat of prospective officers “sympathetic to white supremacist causes” pursuing law enforcement careers for more a straightforward reason: The job simply appeals to them.
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