Recent investigations have shown that there are direct ties between major police forces and the extremist right-wing militant group Oath Keepers. A major playerParticipated in violent intimidation of left-wing protesters, including the attack on the Capitol on January 6.
Documentspurportedly from the Oath Keepers. Leaked by the whistleblower group Distributed Denial of Secrets showThey have direct overlap with active police officers in major cities, such as New York City and Los Angeles. according to a recent NPR report.
The Chicago Police Department, which has 13 active members, is believed to have the highest percentage of Oath Keepers membership among active police departments in major cities. NPRFound. One of those officers, who lists their profession as a firearm trainer for the Chicago PD, has included membership in the far-right militant group as one of their “accomplishments” on LinkedIn.
Another Chicago officer told the story NPRHe joined the group many years ago after being upset by the events. city’s ban on handgunsThe Supreme Court in 2010 struck down the law. The Oath Keepers pride themselves on their militant anti-government stances and baseless conspiracy theories about the governments’ supposed trampling of civil liberties — while also engaging in police-like vigilante activities like armed patrolling of polling sites to ensure that the election wasn’t being “stolen” from Donald Trump.
At least three people in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and two active members of the New York Police Department are listed on the Oath Keepers roster, NPR Find. An analysis of USA TodayIn the meantime, showedOver 200 people were identified as active or retired police officers, including officers from all 50 states.
Joe Wright, a Texas constable, said USA TodayWright said he joined the party in 2012 due to political pressure. “To be honest, I felt pressured to join it in this county for political support,” Wright said. “The Oath Keepers, if you didn’t support them, you were going to get bad reviews.”
Many of the officers who were contacted by media claimed that their names had been included on the list. They also claimed to not know much about the group. However, some police departments like the NYPD are now conducting internal investigations into officers whose names appear on the list. This means that they may be able to conceal their affiliation with this group.
According to Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart RhodesThe group is made up of largely ofRetired and active military personnel, police officers and first responders. “The group openly and intentionally recruits these individuals to their ranks, mostly in an effort to capitalize on the skills and knowledge these individuals acquired during their time of service,” the Southern Poverty Law Center reported.
One of the group’s primary stated goals is to build militias in the U.S. by stockpiling military equipment and holding paramilitary trainings. The group’s members trained for months in the lead up to the Terrorist attempt to arm a coup on January 6According to documents from the Department of Justice, it was. A leader of the group saidActive police officers assist the group with paramilitary instruction.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that any NYPD officers who are found to be loyal to the group would be fired. should be firedThe force. This small gesture is not likely to address the problem of extremist right wing sentiments and violence in police departments.
Recent investigations have foundNumerous instances of active police expressing hostility towards Democrats and Black people, as well as women, have been reported. Jewish peopleIn Facebook groups, they post dehumanizing and vile statements about marginalized groups. Investigation after investigation has revealed that there is evidence of this. are strong linksBetween police departments and white supremacist group.
Police are often given more money for initiatives such as diversity training when there is police brutality or murder. But, Garrett Felber wrote for Truthout, “If history is any guide, liberal professionalization reforms such as community relations training, racial diversification and data analysis will not change the violent outcome of police murder.” Police and prison abolitionists have said that the violence is structural and inherent to policing, which is why police “reforms” often do more harm than good.