White supremacist police connections

Unfortunately, examples abound nationally of white supremacists interacting with or being part of local police forces and other law enforcement-related entities. A 2006 FBI memo on the topic warned of “ghost skins,” hate group members who mask their racism in order to blend into police forces and “covertly advance white supremacist causes.” Moreover, research has shown that hate groups are often successful at recruiting police to their membership rolls. Here is just a small sampling of such connections.

  • “The [FBI Counterterrorism] Guide from April 2015… notes that ‘domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacists extremists and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers,’ and explains in some detail how bureau policies have been crafted to take this infiltration into account… Federal investigators have been reluctant to publicly address that threat or to point out the movement’s longstanding strategy of infiltrating the law enforcement community.” (The Intercept)
  • Disturbing texts between Oregon police and far-right group prompts investigation. Portland, OR police office Lt. Jeff Niiya sent texts to Joey Gibson, leader of white nationalist group Patriot Prayer, prior to their clash with anti-police violence protesters, saying he won’t arrest Gibson’s assistant even if he has a warrant as long as he doesn’t commit a new crime, adding, “Just make sure he doesn’t do anything which may draw our attention.” (NBC News; Feb. 2019)
  • Entire Florida SWAT Team resigns in protest of police chief kneeing in support of police brutality protesters (Newsweek; June 2020)
  • State Dept. confirms leader of white nationalist group as employee, won’t be fired (Business Insider.com; Aug 2019)
  • U.S. Army soldier charged with plotting white supremacist terror attack (Axios.com; June 2020)
  • The FBI has quietly investigated white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement (The Intercept; Jan 2017)
  • Dallas officers investigated after bigoted, violent social media posts (DallasNews.com; June 2019)
  • Joliet Illinois PD facing 12 current federal complaints due to decades-long discrimination and recent case where Black man died after police shoved baton in his mouth (Theappeal.org; Sept 2020)
  • Neo-Nazi gang formed by members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept who harassed Black and Latino communities (“White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement,” FBI, Oct 17, 2006)
  • In 2014, two Florida officers — including a deputy police chief — were fired after an FBI informant outed them as KKK members. (pbs.org October 2016, Kenya Downs)