An investigation by Reveal News finds hundreds of corrections officers and police officers are members of extremist Facebook groups, ranging from racist to anti-gay to virulently anti-Muslim. Given how many times we’ve seen this happen with individual officers around the country, this can’t possibly be the least bit shocking to anyone.
Hundreds of active-duty and retired law enforcement officers from across the United States are members of Confederate, anti-Islam, misogynistic or anti-government militia groups on Facebook, a Reveal investigation has found.
These cops have worked at every level of American law enforcement, from tiny, rural sheriff’s departments to the largest agencies in the country, such as the Los Angeles and New York police departments. They work in jails and schools and airports, on boats and trains and in patrol cars. And, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting discovered, they also read and contribute to groups such as “White Lives Matter” and “DEATH TO ISLAM UNDERCOVER.”
The groups cover a range of extremist ideologies. Some present themselves publicly as being dedicated to benign historical discussion of the Confederacy, but are replete with racism inside. Some trade in anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant memes. Some are openly Islamophobic. And almost 150 of the officers we found are involved with violent anti-government groups such as the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters.
The military has a similar problem with white supremacist and neo-Nazi people joining and getting military training. The danger here, obviously, is that these officers are given the power to destroy lives, even end them, and if they see some percentage of the people they are entrusted to protect and serve as less than human and not deserving of such protection. I think our law enforcement agencies need to start a serious project to root out people like this and get rid of them. Our rights are at stake.