Officers Down: Right-Wing Extremists Attacking Police At Growing Rate » ADL Blogs
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June 9, 2014 25

Officers Down: Right-Wing Extremists Attacking Police At Growing Rate

In Las Vegas on June 8, a man and a woman entered a local pizza restau­rant and shot and killed two Las Vegas Metro Police offi­cers, Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo, who were eat­ing lunch there. The shoot­ers then crossed the street to a Wal­mart, where they killed another per­son, then com­mit­ted suicide.officers-killed-domestic-extremists-1965-2014

Though, as of this writ­ing, the names of the sus­pects have not yet been released, details of the shoot­ings and sus­pects released by police or uncov­ered by jour­nal­ists strongly sug­gest the shoot­ings may be the work of right-wing extremists.

If so, the two offi­cers who lost their lives this past Sun­day are only the lat­est in a series of casu­al­ties in a de facto war being waged against police by right-wing extrem­ists, includ­ing both anti-government extrem­ists and white suprema­cists. Some extrem­ists have delib­er­ately tar­geted police, while oth­ers have responded vio­lently when meet­ing police in unplanned encoun­ters. The killings are not the effort of a con­certed cam­paign but rather a series of inde­pen­dent attacks and clashes stem­ming from right-wing ideologies.

In the 1960s and 1970s it was left-wing groups like the Black Lib­er­a­tion Army which tar­geted police for killing. How­ever, by the 1980s, right-wing extrem­ists began to sur­pass left-wing extrem­ists in caus­ing police deaths. The num­ber of offi­cers killed by right-wing extrem­ists more than dou­bled in the 1990s, then increased by 50% more in the first decade of the 2000s. Five offi­cers have been killed by right-wing extrem­ists since 2011, not count­ing the Las Vegas incident.

In the past five years alone, from 2009 through 2013, ADL has tracked 43 sep­a­rate vio­lent inci­dents between domes­tic extrem­ists (of all types) and law enforce­ment in the United States. These inci­dents include sit­u­a­tions in which shots are exchanged between police and extrem­ists (shootouts), sit­u­a­tions in which extrem­ists have fired at police but police sub­dued the extrem­ists with­out hav­ing to return fire, and sit­u­a­tions in which offi­cers had to use their firearms to pro­tect them­selves against extremists.

Of these 43 inci­dents, fully 39 of them involved extrem­ists sport­ing some sort of extreme right-wing ide­ol­ogy. White suprema­cists took part in 21 inci­dents, while anti-government extrem­ists were involved in 17 more. An anti-Muslim extrem­ist was involved in one inci­dent (the other four inci­dents included one with a left-wing extrem­ist and three with domes­tic Islamic extrem­ists). In these shoot­ing inci­dents, the extrem­ists shot 30 offi­cers, 14 fatally. Many other offi­cers sus­tained non-gunfire injuries dur­ing some of these encounters.shooting-incidents-2009-2013-by-ideology

Extreme ide­olo­gies cause right-wing rad­i­cals directly to attack offi­cers. Anti-government extrem­ist such as mili­tia groups and sov­er­eign cit­i­zens believe that police are agents of the ille­git­i­mate gov­ern­ment, while white suprema­cists believe that police are tools of the “Jewish-controlled” gov­ern­ment. The same ide­olo­gies some­times cause extrem­ists to act out vio­lently when they ran­domly encounter police in rou­tine situations.

More­over, because right-wing extrem­ists fre­quently engage in crim­i­nal activity—both ide­o­log­i­cal and non-ideological, police respond­ing to reports of crim­i­nal activ­ity may encounter extrem­ists com­mit­ting a crime or who are fugi­tives from jus­tice. Such sit­u­a­tions can also fre­quently turn deadly.

Unfor­tu­nately, rel­a­tively few offi­cer safety courses incor­po­rate infor­ma­tion about the dan­gers to police from domes­tic extremists.

  • Martian_Ambassador

    Lol. Nice cherry picking.

    Inter­na­tional Islamic ter­ror­ists killed 60 NYPD and Port Author­ity offi­cers in just a few hours in 2001.

    And do tell, how many cops have been felled by run of the mill “crime enthu­si­asts,” who present with an ide­ol­ogy of anti-authoritarianism, even if most of them couldn’t artic­u­late it to save their lives?

    • Jor­dan

      Lol. Nice try.

      1. You even said it, “inter­na­tional”. This is domes­tic.
      2. This is spe­cific inci­dents of tar­gets against police.. thats not what 9/11 was about.

      Not sure about your last state­ment. It appears that you are try­ing to make some sort of Ad hominem attack against police.. to jus­tify vio­lence. Go home troll.

      • Bounc­erss

        @Jordan Try read­ing a lit­tle closer. Pay par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to the punc­tu­a­tion mark called the comma!

      • Martian_Ambassador

        A killed cop is a killed cop, hence the accu­sa­tion of cherry pick­ing. Leav­ing the ide­o­log­i­cally dri­ven car­nage of 9/11 out only serves to make Islamic vio­lence, which observes no bor­ders, look less deadly to cops than it actu­ally is.

        • Guest

          Inter­na­tional ter­ror­ists don’t tar­get local cops. They tar­get the mil­i­tary, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, and Amer­i­cans in general.

          • S Graves

            Tell that to the belea­guered police estab­lish­ments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

            • Guest

              Those are their local cops, not ours.

              • S Graves

                Right. They’re local cops. Local cops was what you stated. Did you mean some­thing else?

                • Guest

                  I meant our police offi­cers.
                  I also stated inter­na­tional ter­ror­ists. When they’re attack­ing their local cops, they’re domes­tic terrorists.

                • S Graves

                  Thanks for the clarification…or what­ever. So the 9/11 ter­ror­ists were domes­tic ter­ror­ists? Right? Or do your unique def­i­n­i­tions only apply to attack­ing cops?
                  The attack­ers in Iraq and Afghanistan are Al Qaeda or oth­ers clearly des­ig­nated as inter­na­tional ter­ror­ist groups they are still just domes­tic ter­ror­ists? What if they move to Syria and kill police officials?

          • Martian_Ambassador

            Why doesn’t “F**k da po-lice!” rate as an extreme expres­sion of lefty nihilism when one of Obama’s way­ward sons, as in Oak­land a few years back, guns down cops rather than surrender?

            Or is it that we are only dis­cussing “ide­olo­gies” that have a proper pedi­gree out­side of com­mu­nity folk­lore and rap music?

    • DJKu­ulA

      9/11 did not specif­i­cally tar­get law enforce­ment. It was a mass attack.

  • Mouth of the South

    When only speak­ing of shoot­ings against police I think I can under­stand this, to some degree. While I don’t feel the same way I can see where some could. Here’s why:
    The drug laws are oppres­sive. Many who are hard work­ing get a “scar­let let­ter” which destroys their lives after being busted for as lit­tle as a joint. Why should laws be more destruc­tive than the drug that is pro­hib­ited? It is non­sen­si­cal.
    While I have never been on that side of the fence I can see where some who are already strug­gling can reach the “last straw” and begin to hate police.
    They used to be there to pro­tect us. Now nearly all Amer­i­cans stiffen on the very sight of a police car when dri­ving. Even those who have never had a record or bro­ken the law.
    It is just the thing that can push an already unsta­ble mind over the edge.
    We also have a prob­lem with men­tal health treat­ment and focus…which is the other side of it that isn’t being addressed.

    • Jor­dan

      It is being addressed, well, most of the time. For exam­ple in Col­orado after the the­atre shoot­ings, 6 new men­tal health facil­i­ties were opened up. The state also increased men­tal health fund­ing, and closed loop­holes in reporting.

      Obama did 21 exec­u­tive mem­o­ran­dums shortly after in 2013 — that paved way for reduced loop­holes in men­tal health report­ing. This also applies to fund­ing for men­tal health under insur­ance plans.

      In this nuts case, he was opposed to health insur­ance and hos­pi­tals in gen­eral. Not sure to go about try­ing to fix peo­ple that don’t think they have a problem.

    • Sid­Seven

      The way I deal with the Police is to pretty much sim­ply ignore them.

  • Guest

    Who’s the one left-wing extrem­ist in the pie chart, Christo­pher Dorner? Where’s the list of the 43 incidents?

    • John Oliver

      They can’t list them because they don’t exist!

  • John Oliver

    Cherry picked data and you would not believe what they call right wingers !

    • The­Re­alB­BOX

      I don’t think you know what the phrase “cherry-picked” means but then again I imag­ine in your world there’s lots of words or phrases that mean dif­fer­ent things in real­ity than they do to you.

  • John Oliver

    Where is the list of the 43 inci­dents? Oops! Can’t find them can you!

  • Quasar­erazar

    I think that the con­struc­tion of the top chart is hor­ri­ble. Could some­one please rework it so that the time axis on the bot­tom has indi­vid­ual years, and the space between those years as the total. Also, I think you should offer up a list of the inci­dents that you are count­ing for this.

  • mus­cle mike

    The ADL was founded after the con­vic­tion of the child molester/murderer Leo Frank. The ADL is a Jew­ish Suprema­cist hate group. In fact,the ADL was busted in 1993 for hav­ing stolen police files in their possession.

  • mus­cle mike
  • mus­cle mike

    Here’s more info regard­ing the infa­mous Leo Frank case.

  • RS

    Totally skewed results. But to be expected from the ADL. You cer­tianly would not want to include any years before 2009 or ter­ror­ism not specif­i­cally aimed at police. We could work up a left­ist chart if you like. No one has a cor­ner on the wackos.
    1. A splin­ter group made up of the more rad­i­cal mem­bers of the Black Pan­ther Party, the Black Lib­er­a­tion Army (BLA) sought to over­throw the US gov­ern­ment in the name of racial sep­a­ratism and Marx­ist ideals. The Fra­ter­nal Order of Police blames the BLA for the mur­ders of 13 police offi­cers. Accord­ing to a Jus­tice Depart­ment report on BLA activ­ity, the group was sus­pected of involve­ment in over 60 inci­dents of vio­lence between 1970 and 1980.
    2. Accord­ing to the FBI in June 2008, eco-terrorsts and extreme ani­mal rights activists rep­re­sent “one of the most seri­ous domes­tic ter­ror­ism threats in the U.S. today”. They com­mit­ted over 2,000 crimes and caused over $110 mil­lion in dam­ages since 1979, against tar­gets includ­ing lum­ber com­pa­nies, ani­mal test­ing facil­i­ties and genetic research firms.
    3. May 19th Com­mu­nist Organization,The May 19 Coali­tion (also var­i­ously referred to as the May 19 Com­mu­nist Coali­tion, May 19 Com­mu­nist Orga­ni­za­tion, and var­i­ous alter­na­tives of M19CO), was a US-based, self-described rev­o­lu­tion­ary orga­ni­za­tion formed by mem­bers of the Weather Under­ground Orga­ni­za­tion
    4. The United Free­dom Front (UFF) was a small Amer­i­can Marx­ist orga­ni­za­tion active in the 1970s and 1980s. It was orig­i­nally called the Sam Melville/Jonathan Jack­son Unit, and its mem­bers became known as the Ohio 7 when they were brought to trial. Between 1975 and 1984 the UFF car­ried out at least 20 bomb­ings and nine bank rob­beries in the north­east­ern United States, tar­get­ing cor­po­rate build­ings, cour­t­houses, and mil­i­tary facil­i­ties. Brent L. Smith describes them as “undoubt­edly the most suc­cess­ful of the left­ist ter­ror­ists of the 1970s and 1980s.”