An Oklahoma police chief found himself in the national spotlight for welcoming a known white supremacist into his department, ignoring concerns about the officer.
Achille police chief Christopher Watson hired Bart Alsbrook as a reserve officer, KXII-TV reported on Wednesday.
“He was involved in some kind of group then, and wanted out and the only way he figured he could get out would be to move far away,” said Watson, who added that he believed Alsbrook deserves another chance after supposedly parting ways with a neo-Nazi group.
The news outlet reported last year that Alsbrook was the Texas coordinator of a skinhead group called Blood and Honor, which is an international coalition of racist skinhead gangs. Alsbrook resigned last August from his interim police chief position with the Colbert Police Department in Oklahoma after admitting to his connection with the white supremacist group.
Watson’s willingness to ignore Alsbrook neo-Nazi roots highlights the challenge of preventing white supremacists from having badges and policing Black communities.
The FBI issued a warning in 2006 about white nationalists and skinheads infiltrating police departments, PBS’s News Hour reported 10 years after the agency released the bulletin in an assessment of whether law enforcement departments heeded the warning.
Since federal investigators issued the report, numerous instances of white supremacists working in law enforcement have surfaced, including a Fruitland Park, Florida deputy police chief and an officer in the department who were outed as members of the Ku Klux Klan in 2014.
Authorities have failed to establish a system of vetting the racist background of police hires, according to News Hour. However, social media has been instrumental in helping to identify law enforcement officers who are members of white supremacist groups.
13 Times Obama Sent Shots At Trump In Illinois Speech
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Former President Obama, referring to “people who are genuinely... fearful of change” during speech at University of Illinois: “It did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause. He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years." pic.twitter.com/WKdGJME0B9— CNN (@CNN) September 7, 2018
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Former President Obama:— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 7, 2018
“How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?" pic.twitter.com/DOJnJS9zCV
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Former President Obama: "What happened to the Republican party? ... In a healthy democracy, there's some checks and balances on this kind of behavior, this kind of inconsistency. But right now there's nothing." pic.twitter.com/XWapB279UN— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 7, 2018
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“It shouldn't be Democratic or Republican to say that we don't threaten the freedom of the press because they say things or publish stories we don't like." President Obama #VoteDem 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/at90564D8J— Scott Dworkin (@funder) September 7, 2018
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Former President Obama: “The claim that everything will turn out OK because there are people inside the White House who secretly aren’t following the President’s orders... That’s not how our democracy is supposed to work…" https://t.co/dLxQqhvyWy pic.twitter.com/uMz5lntvgF— CNN (@CNN) September 7, 2018
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President Obama calling out Trump on Charlottesville: “We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination. And we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers. How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?"pic.twitter.com/ptWGZfKdTo— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) September 7, 2018
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President Obama: “Over the past few decades, the politics of division and resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican party.” pic.twitter.com/u0YTCUESCp— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) September 7, 2018
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Former President Obama, encouraging young people to vote: “What’s gonna fix our democracy is you… The threat to our democracy doesn't just come from Donald Trump… the biggest threat to our democracy is indifference…" https://t.co/dLxQqhdY50 pic.twitter.com/U8zBxnKP1P— CNN (@CNN) September 7, 2018
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President Obama: "If you thought elections don't matter, I hope these last two years have corrected that impression." pic.twitter.com/KNaHv5i54p— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) September 7, 2018
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President Obama on today's Republican Party: 'That's not what [Abraham Lincoln] had in mind...it's not conservative, it sure isn't normal. It's radical.' pic.twitter.com/72T0cOSyNH— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 7, 2018
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Former President Obama: “When you vote, you’ve got the power to make sure white nationalists don’t feel emboldened to march with their hoods on or hoods off in Charlottesville.” pic.twitter.com/Heu66ZH1eF— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 7, 2018
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President Obama: "I know there are Republicans who believe government should only perform a few minimal functions but that one of those functions should be making sure nearly 3,000 Americans don't die in a hurricane and its aftermath." pic.twitter.com/SCiJpaq795— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) September 7, 2018
Police Department Hires White Supremacist As If It’s No Big Deal was originally published on newsone.com