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June 14, 2013 0

ADL Marks 20th Anniversary Of Wisconsin v. Mitchell Decision

This week marks the 20th anniver­sary of the land­mark Supreme Court deci­sion in Wis­con­sin v. Mitchell uphold­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of Wisconsin’s hate crimes law, which was based on ADL model leg­is­la­tion drafted in 1981.supreme-court-hate-crimes-adl

Con­gress, forty-five states, and the Dis­trict of Colum­bia now have laws based on our sim­i­lar to the ADL model statute.  ADL’s Wash­ing­ton Coun­sel Michael Lieber­man described the sig­nif­i­cance of this week’s anniver­sary in an op-ed, “Pun­ish­ment to Fit the (Hate) Crime,” pub­lished today in The Hill’s Con­gress Blog.

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June 11, 2013 0

Massachusetts Lone Wolf Convicted Of First-Degree Murder

keith-luke

T.Correira/The Enterprise/GateHouse Media

On May 30, a Brock­ton Supe­rior Court jury found Mass­a­chu­setts white suprema­cist Keith Luke guilty of first-degree mur­der and related charges stem­ming from a Jan­u­ary 2009 racially-motivated killing spree that was one of the most heinous of sev­eral high-profile white suprema­cist “lone wolf” attacks that year. He sub­se­quently received two con­sec­u­tive life sen­tences with­out parole, plus an addi­tional 158 years in prison.

Luke shot and killed two women, immi­grants from Cape Verde, and sex­u­ally assaulted and attempted to mur­der a third, on Jan­u­ary 21, 2009. Fol­low­ing these killings, Luke led police on a brief chase before they appre­hended him—which pre-empted a planned racially moti­vated killing spree directed at Jews and non-whites.  After his appre­hen­sion, Luke told police that he had planned to con­tinue his mur­der­ous ram­page at a syn­a­gogue later that evening.

Author­i­ties charged Luke with two counts of mur­der, two counts of armed assault with intent to mur­der, aggra­vated rape, kid­nap­ping, armed home inva­sion, unlaw­ful pos­ses­sion of a firearm, and unlaw­ful pos­ses­sion of ammu­ni­tion. Accord­ing to the police, dur­ing his inter­ro­ga­tion Luke said that he had planned to kill as many “non­white peo­ple” as he could in an effort to “fight” for his “dying race.”

Luke was a lone wolf white suprema­cist, with no ties to any orga­nized extrem­ist group.  In the weeks lead­ing up to the mur­ders, Luke was a con­stant on-line pres­ence, mak­ing racist com­ments, racially harass­ing other on-line posters, and espe­cially view­ing white suprema­cist videos on YouTube.  Luke viewed more than 2,300 videos in the two weeks before the mur­ders.  Nearly all of the videos Luke tagged as his “favorites” were anti-Semitic or white suprema­cist in nature, with titles such as “Aryans Rise – They Seek Your Death.” Luke’s com­ments on var­i­ous on-line forums were sim­i­larly typ­i­cally extreme, such as “racial equal­ity is a [J]ewish lie.” And “Hitler was right.  Fuck all non whites.”

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May 22, 2013 0

In Vancouver, Washington, a Cluster of Luysters

brent-luyster-tightrope

Brent Luys­ter

Mem­bers of the Clark County, Wash­ing­ton, SWAT team arrested three men this past week, at least two of them known white suprema­cists, in con­nec­tion with a pos­si­ble hate crime at a Van­cou­ver bar in March 2013.  Arrested at their sep­a­rate res­i­dences were Brent Ward Luys­ter, Robert Arlen Luys­ter, and Don­ald H. McElfish. 

The three men allegedly attacked a 45-year-old black man at a bar in Rose Vil­lage, punch­ing, kick­ing and beat­ing the vic­tim while using racial slurs and threat­en­ing to kill him.  Police have charged the three sus­pects with second-degree felony assault and racially moti­vated mali­cious harassment.

The two Luys­ter broth­ers have a long his­tory of white supremacy and crim­i­nal activ­ity, dat­ing back to at least 2000.  That sum­mer, as racist skin­heads, the two men (and two oth­ers) attacked an African-American man in a racially-motivated assault.  They pleaded guilty to assault charges in 2001.  Three years later, police arrested Brent W. Luys­ter again, this time for vio­lat­ing parole by asso­ci­at­ing with another white suprema­cist.  In July 2005, Van­cou­ver police arrested Brent W. Luys­ter and another white suprema­cist on alle­ga­tions of mali­cious harassment.

Brent W. and Robert A. Luys­ter have not, how­ever, been the only Luys­ters to have got­ten in trou­ble in this fash­ion.  In late 2004, another Brent Luys­ter, Brent D. Luys­ter (iden­ti­fi­able by the “white pride” tat­toos on his upper arms), briefly escaped from the Larch Cor­rec­tions Cen­ter in east­ern Clark County.  He may be the father of Brent W. and Robert.

In early 2005, Port­land, Ore­gon, police arrested a fourth white suprema­cist Luys­ter, Michael Lee Luys­ter, for not hav­ing a driver’s license while trans­port­ing a car­load of white suprema­cists to protest at a local com­mu­nity cen­ter.  Port­land is just south of Vancouver.

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