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Tag: racism

FBI Reports Record Number of Hate Crime Murders

By Steve Neavling

A record 51 hate crime murders were reported in 2019, a more than two-fold increase over last year’s all-time high, according to FBI data released Monday. 

All forms of hate crimes also rose to 7,314, a 3% increase over last year, the FBI said in a news release. In all, there were 8,552 victims.

“When one individual is targeted by a hate crime, it hurts the whole community — that’s why people are feeling vulnerable and afraid,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement on the statistics’ release.

Included in the hate crime murders were the 22 people killed in an August 2019 shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, where the shooter said he was “targeting Mexicans.” 

Hate crimes are defined as those with “bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity.” 

More than 57% of the hate crimes were motivated by race/ethnicity/ancestry bias. Nearly 20% were motivated by religious bias, followed by 16.8% motivated by sexual-orientation bias, and 2.7% by gender identity bias. 

Of the known offenders, 52.5% were white and 23.9% were Black. Another 10% were Hispanic. 

Instructors at DEA Training Academy Accused of Racial Discrimination

By Steve Neavling

Instructors at the DEA’s Training Academy have come under scrutiny following a rash of recent complaints about racial discrimination, The Associated Press reports.

In one case, an instructor is accused of calling a Black recruit a “monkey” and taunting others by making “monkey noises” on a loud speaker at the firing range. 

“We were like, ‘It’s 2019. That shouldn’t even be a thing that we’re dealing with,'” Derek Moise, a white trainee, said. “Everybody knows what those sounds and noises stand for.”

The complaints come as the DEA struggles to diversify its ranks. 

The DEA “has received a string of recent complaints describing a culture of racial discrimination at its training academy in which minorities are singled out, derided with insults and consistently held to a higher standard than their white counterparts,” The AP wrote, citing records and interviews with former recruits and law enforcement officials.  

In another case, an instructor said a Black recruit’s skin color made him a perfect candidate to work undercover. 

Hispanic recruits also leveled complaints about racial discrimination. 

Only 8% of the DEA’s special agents are Black, and 10% are Hispanic. 

“DEA takes allegations of misconduct very seriously and will not tolerate discriminatory behavior of any kind,” the agency said in a statement. “DEA is committed to recruiting, retaining and promoting a workforce that reflects the diversity of our country and the people we serve.”

Black ATF Agent Sues ATF Again After Settling Lawsuit over Nazi-Tattooed Colleague

ATF Agent Bradford Devlin with a Nazi-themed tattoo, via U.S. District Court.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A black ATF supervisor who receive $450,000 to settle a lawsuit in which she claims the agency discriminated against her after she launched complaints about another supervisor with a Nazi-themed tattoo has sued the agency again.

Cheryl Bishop, a senior supervisor agent in Seattle and former bomb-dog handler, alleges in the latest lawsuit that she was smeared and retaliated against after the settlement in the first case was published in a newspaper, The Seattle Times reports.

According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Bradford Devlin, the supervisor who was previously accused of abusive, racist behavior, was back at it again, sending an email to 150 ATF employees in which he defended himself and used racist tropes and false allegations against Bishop. Devlin is the resident agent in charge of the ATF’s Eugene, Oregon’s, office.

The lawsuit alleges the ATF’s failure to discipline Devlin or address his racist action led to more abuse.

“The Government’s repeated failure to discipline its employees for violating the law, unsurprisingly, leaves them to feeling free to do so again and again,” Bishop’s Seattle lawyer, Jesse Wing, said. “The Agency’s behavior, shrugging off continued defiant acts of race harassment and retaliation committed by a known racist supervisor in its ranks, reflects the need for fundamental change at ATF.”

The ATF declined to comment.

In the previous lawsuit, Bishop alleged the ATF scuttled her appointment to a job at Washington D.C.’s headquarters after she blew the whistle on abusive behavior by Devlin and complained about a Nazi-themed tattoo on his arm.

Devlin, who is now the senior supervisor in ATF’s Seattle Field Division, denied being abusive and says he got the Nazi tattoo while working undercover investigating an outlaw white-supremacist biker gang in Ohio.

Although the agency offered to pay for the removal of the tattoo, Devlin decided to keep it, calling it a “war trophy.”

FBI, DOJ Investigate Noose Found in Garage of NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace

Talladega Superspeedway, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The discovery of a noose in the garage stall of NASCAR racer Bubba Wallace has triggered a federal investigation.

Wallace, the only black full-time NASCAR driver, was the driving force behind the stock car series banning the Confederate flag.

The noose was found just hours after Sunday’s race was postponed.

U.S. Attorney Jay Town told the AP that his office, the FBI and Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division were investigating.

“Regardless of whether federal charges can be brought, this type of action has no place in our society,” Town said.

A limited number of people had access to the garage stall because of strict new health guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Those with access include crew members, NASCAR and Talladega employees, contracted security guards and safety crews.

NASCAR pledged to take action.

“We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act,” the series said in a statement. “As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all.”

White Supremacist, Racist Groups Pose Greatest Threat of Protest-Related Violence, Intelligence Briefing Warns

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

White supremacists and other domestic racist groups pose the greatest threat of protest-related violence, a new federal intelligence bulletins warns.

The document, issued by the FBI, Homeland Security and National Counterterrorism Center, undermines President Trump’s rhetoric that antifa and anarchists groups are the primary threats, ABC News reports.

“Based upon current information, we assess the greatest threat of lethal violence continues to emanate from lone offenders with racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist ideologies and [domestic violent extremists] with personalized ideologies,” the bulletin states.

The bulletin, titled “Domestic Violent Extremists Could Exploit Current Events to Incite or Justify Attacks on Law Enforcement or Civilians Engaged in First Amendment-Protected Activities,” was sent to law enforcement across the country.

The bulletin asserts that would-be domestic terrorists “including militia extremists and [groups] who advocate a belief in the superiority of the white race have sought to bring about a second civil war, often referred to as a ‘Boogaloo’ by intentionally instigating violence at First Amendment-protected activities. Racially charged events, coupled with the accompanying widespread media attention, and the rapid dissemination of violent online rhetoric by [extremists], are likely to remain contributing factors to potentially ideologically motivated violence.”

Hate Groups, Fueled by Conspiracy Theories May Exploit Coronavirus to Target Attacks, Feds Warn

Timothy Wilson is accused of plotting to detonate a bomb near a hospital, via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Hate groups, fueled by conspiracy theories about the coronavirus, may incite violence in the midst of the outbreak, national security officials warn in an intelligence bulletin fringe the FBI, Homeland Security, and National Counterterrorism Center.

The report, first obtained by CNN, also warns that extremists may target hospitals, grocery stores, and even police officers enforcing social-distancing measures.

Recent plots were uncovered in the past two weeks, including a Missouri man accused of plotting to detonate a car bomb at a hospital and a train engineer who said he intentionally crashed his train near a naval hospital ship that he believed was preparing for a government takeover.

Asian-Americans and Jewish people also have been targeted with threats because of conspiracy theories blaming them for the spread of the virus.

CNN wrote:

While the FBI has become increasingly focused on combating domestic terrorism in recent years as the number of reported hate crimes has increased, the recent warnings have reflected an elevated concern that the pandemic and the changes to American society that it has caused were creating more perceived reasons and opportunities for extremists to act.

While the FBI has become increasingly focused on combating domestic terrorism in recent years as the number of reported hate crimes has increased, the recent warnings have reflected an elevated concern that the pandemic and the changes to American society that it has caused were creating more perceived reasons and opportunities for extremists to act.

Some hate groups are claiming that government responses to the outbreak could crash the global economy and lead to a race war, the bulletin states, potentially working to incite people who are facing economic hardship and social isolation in the meantime to commit acts of violence.
Others have commented that they should exploit holes in policing left by law enforcement who’ve contracted the virus themselves or are diverted to enforcing stay-at-home orders.

FBI Warns That Some White Supremacists Want to Weaponize Coronavirus Against Cops, Jews

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Some white supremacist groups are encouraging members to weaponize the coronavirus by spreading it to cops and Jews, the FBI has alerted local police.

These extremists are directing their followers who get infected with coronavirus to spread it by employing methods that include using spray bottles with their bodily fluids, according to the alert obtained by ABC News.

“Members of extremist groups are encouraging one another to spread the virus, if contracted, through bodily fluids and personal interactions,” according to the alert from the FBI’s New York office.

The FBI said white supremacists groups are asking members to spread the virus to Jews by going “any place they may be congregated, to include markets, political offices, businesses and places of worship.”

“Anti-government folks in America love to target law enforcement as a symbol of America’s authority,” Don Mihalek, the executive vice president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Foundation, tells ABC Newss. “It’s just sad that that’s their focus at a time of crisis in the nation.”

Some white supremacists groups have been blaming Jews for the coronavirus outbreak and the stay-at-home orders that are forcing nonessential businesses to shut down.

“From pushing the idea that Jews created the coronavirus virus to sell vaccines to encouraging infected followers to try to spread the illness to the Jewish community and law enforcement, as the coronavirus has spread, we have observed how white-supremacists, neo-Nazis and others have used this to drive their own conspiracy theories, spread disinformation and incite violence on their online platforms,” said Michael Masters, the head of Secure Communities Network, a group that coordinates security for Jewish organizations and synagogues nationwide.

“While the world faces a deadly pandemic, it’s a stark reminder that certain groups – notably the Jewish community and law enforcement – must also continue the battle against those who wish to hurt or kill them,” Masters continued. “As the economic situation remains fragile and civil society disrupted, the potential for the followers of hate to act becomes more likely … and more deadly.”

FBI Arrests 4 People Tied to Neo-Nazi Group Atomwaffen Division

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI has arrested four people with ties to the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division on charges of plotting to intimidate and harass journalists, activists and others, including then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

The charges are part of a crackdown on violent white supremacists who have become emboldened by President Trump’s divisive rhetoric.

“These defendants from across the country allegedly conspired on the internet to intimidate journalists and activists with whom they disagreed,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in a news release. “This is not how America works. The Department of Justice will not tolerate this type of behavior.”

The suspects are accused of conspiring to harass journalists and activists by delivering or mailing posters with swastikas, guns and Molotov cocktails to the journalists and activists.

“These defendants sought to spread fear and terror with threats delivered to the doorstep of those who are critical of their activities,” U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran for the Western District of Washington said.  “As Attorney General William Barr has made clear, rooting out anti-Semitic hate and threats of violence and vigorously prosecuting those responsible are top priorities for the Department of Justice.”

The suspects are Cameron Brandon Shea, 24, of Redmond, Wash.; Kaleb Cole, 24, of Montgomery, Texas; Taylor Ashley Parker-Dipeppe, 20, of Spring Hill, Fla., and Johnny Roman Garza, 20, of Queen Creek, Ariz.

“Today’s announcement serves as a warning to anyone who intends to use violence as intimidation or coercion to further their ideology that the FBI remains steadfast in our commitment to protect Americans from domestic terrorism,” Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Jill Sanborn said.  “These nationwide arrests are the result of the robust partnerships among the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Tampa, Seattle, Houston, and Phoenix and we appreciate their collective efforts.”