Lawmakers press FBI to release report on white supremacists inside police departments
The agency did a report on the infiltration of police by hate groups but it's yet to see the light of day
A heavily redacted FBI report in 2006 confirmed that white supremacist groups were asking their members to join law enforcement agencies in order to continue to spread hatred. But as of this date, the report has barely been reviewed.
In the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Elijah McClain at the hands of police, there are renewed calls to make the entire report public.
Democratic California congresswoman Norma Torres, along with 27 lawmakers has asked for the FBI to allow to release an unredacted version of the report
On her official site, she states:
As we work to end systemic racism in law enforcement, we need to know how pervasive white supremacist ideology is among our officers. The FBI raised an alarm about this fourteen years ago – the public has yet to hear exactly what they found, and what, if anything, was done about it. We must ensure appropriate action was taken for any threats this report identified, and revisit the inquiry to bring its findings up to date immediately.”
In February, FBI Director Christopher Wray identified domestic terrorism as problem on par with that of religious extremism and foreign terrorists, according to an NPR report.
The arrests and firings of the police officers involved in the Floyd killing and the firing of one of the officers in the Taylor case are small steps in seeking justice for families who lose a loved one because of police brutality, but the overall culture of most police departments remains the same.
“I think that with the advancements in technology, many of these organizations have become more powerful,” law professor Samuel Jones from the John Marshall School of Law in Chicago told The Daily Beast. “They have been allowed to gain employment within our criminal justice system as prosecutors, as police officers, as investigators, as medical examiners, as judges, according to their own literature.”
Officers around the country have been exposed as members of white supremacist groups like The Proud Boys and the Ku Klux Klan as well as militias who want to keep the races separate, the Daily Beast reports.
In Philadelphia in 2019, 72 Philadelphia police were pulled off the streets by then Philadephia police commissioner Richard Ross when racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim posts were discovered on their personal social media pages after an investigation by the Plain View Project, NPR reports.
Officers in Phoenix, Dallas, and St. Louis were also exposed. Though Ross moved to fire 17 officers, he then resigned in a scandal when a previous affair with another police officer was revealed.
“My position nowadays,” Jones said, “is that we do not have a white supremacist infiltration problem much as a white supremacist culture problem with respect to our law enforcement agencies.”
While Torres and the other lawmakers believe the 2006 report is more important than ever, they expect resistance to its complete release.
“Republicans have been very aggressive at denying that white supremacists are a growing problem in our country,” Torres said.
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