Opinion: We Can’t Trust Police To Protect Us From Racist Violence. They Contribute To It

Kevin Mwanza
Written by Kevin Mwanza
Police keep a small group of Confederate protesters separated from counterdemonstrators in front of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va., Sept. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Some U.S. law enforcement officers have been found supporting, protecting or being members of white supremacist groups.

Despite an increase in mass violence perpetrated by white nationalists in recent years, the police are widely seen as not offering any solutions for protection since some also contribute to the violence, according to an opinion piece in the Guardian by Rashad Robinson.

Robinson is the president of ColorOfChange, an online civil rights organization. He previously served as senior director of media programs at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and held leadership roles at the Right to Vote Campaign and FairVote.

A 2015 FBI report indicated that “domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers”.

Police officers have been found to be stoking and celebrating violence perpetrated by white nationalists and promoting their hateful rhetoric.

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Police with ties to Charlottesville violence

One of the best examples is the case of a school resource officer assigned to a high school being outed as a longtime white nationalist and recruiter for Identity Evropa, which has ties to the Charlottesville hate rallies and violence.

Cases of white nationalist law enforcement officers have been reported across the country from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Portland and more. They are there in police departments, border patrol, coast guard and military units.

White nationalists are dangerous in law enforcement and in many roles in government, such as prosecutors because they routinely abuse their power to attack and debilitate communities of color, including harassment and coercion, financial exploitation and acts of sexual and racially-targeted violence.