officer safety » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘officer safety’
April 22, 2013

Slain Officer Tragic Reminder Of Extremist Dangers To Law Enforcement

Officer Sean Collier

The hunt for suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev gripped the nation on April 19 as authorities shut virtually the entire city down in their hunt for the deadly fugitive.

Somewhat sidelined by the manhunt was the fatal encounter that touched off the massive search, the shocking alleged murder by Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev of a university police officer the night before.  Around 10:30pm on April 18, police received a call about a convenience store robbery near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge (the robbery later turned out to be unconnected).  Shortly thereafter, 26-year-old MIT police officer Sean Collier, reportedly encountered the two brothers, who shot him multiple times while he was still in his cruiser, mortally wounding him.

The brothers allegedly carjacked a Mercedes shortly thereafter.  Police located the stolen vehicle in Watertown, but when the first officer approached the car, the brothers allegedly jumped out and opened fire.  As additional officers arrived, the suspects allegedly threw explosive devices at the officers.  MBTA Transit Police Officer Richard Donahue, Jr., 33, received critical gunshot injuries during this chase, though he is now in stable condition receiving hospital care.  Fifteen other officers were injured during the shootout.  Tarmerlan Tsamaev died in this second encounter after receiving multiple injuries, including being run over by his own brother driving a vehicle.

The tragic death of Officer Collier and the near fatal shooting of Officer Donahue highlight the extent to which police officers risk their own lives and welfare to protect Americans from dangerous extremists.  However, most Americans are not aware how often the nation’s police officers must place themselves in the line of fire to oppose dangerous extremists.

According to ADL records, Officer Collier was actually the 30th police officer to die in the United States at the hands of domestic extremists (of all varieties) since 2001.  In a number of those instances, the officers, like Collier, were killed while encountering a desperate extremist fugitive trying to evade capture for a previous act.

Just since 2009, 33 shootouts (including the Watertown event) have taken place between law enforcement officers and domestic extremists—including right-wing anti-government extremists, white supremacists, domestic Muslim extremists and others.  In those violent encounters, extremists have shot 34 police officers, 11 fatally.  In at least four of those incidents, it was probably only body armor that saved the officers’ lives.  Almost 25% of these shootouts involved extremists who were fugitives or otherwise resisting arrest.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

November 5, 2012

Idaho White Supremacist Wounds Two Deputies in Shootout

Kyle Alan Batt, a 27-year-old white supremacist from Caldwell, Idaho, remains hospitalized following a shootout on October 23 in which Batt allegedly shot two Canyon County deputies searching for him in connection with an aggravated assault investigation. The shootings are the latest in a string of nearly 30 shootouts between police and domestic extremists in the United States since 2009.

The incident began earlier in the day when Batt allegedly appeared at the home of a woman with whom he had been having a relationship. Batt reportedly carried a firearm and made threats at the woman. The woman called Caldwell police, but Batt had already left the scene when officers arrived.

Later, five Canyon County sheriff’s deputies went to a residence in Caldwell looking for Batt.  Batt allegedly opened fire at the officers as they approached the house, hitting two of them before fleeing. One officer was able to return fire and hit Batt before he fled. A few hours later, deputies found Batt hiding in a nearby garage, at which point he reportedly tried to take his own life by shooting himself.

One of the two wounded deputies remains in serious condition; the other was treated and released with only minor injuries. Batt was listed in critical condition.

Batt has a long criminal history, including several drug convictions. He is also a white supremacist with a large “white power” tattoo stretched across his breastbone. He has connections with other white supremacists in the Nampa-Boise area, including members of the Hammerskins racist skinhead group. The Hammerskins’ presence in this area has significantly increased in recent years and the Hammerskins held their 2012 “Hammerfest,” the group’s annual large white power music concert, in the Nampa-Boise area on October 6, less than a couple of weeks before the shootout.

Among the 100+ attendees at the Boise Hammerfest was Brent Rackley, the bandmate of Hammerskin Wade Page, who killed six people and injured more during a shooting rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in August 2012. It is not known if Batt attended Hammerfest.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

September 20, 2012

Tattooed Shootout Suspect is White Supremacist

Alaskan Jason Barnum has been charged with three counts of attempted murder following a mid-September shootout at an Anchorage hotel in which Barnum allegedly opened fire on police officers investigating a string of burglaries (wounding one of them).

Following the mid-September arrest in Anchorage, photographs of Barnum understandably went viral on the Internet.  Barnum has many striking tattoos, especially on his head, where a skinless jaw is tattooed on the right side of his face.  Most notable of all is Barnum’s right eyeball, which is itself tattooed black.

Now, ADL research has uncovered evidence that Barnum is also a white supremacist.

Barnum has at least two white supremacist tattoos on his body:  a curved swastika and the white supremacist version of the Celtic Cross.  He has also worn white supremacist jewelry, such as a necklace with a swastika superimposed on an Iron Cross, which appears on Barnum in a picture he posted to his Facebook profile in 2011.

In comments on other people’s Facebook profiles, Barnum has used common white supremacist codes such as “1488” (the 14 stands for the “Fourteen Words” white supremacist slogan, while the 88 stands for “Heil Hitler”).  Barnum also includes as one of his Facebook “likes” the Brotherhood Motorcycle Club, while one of his Facebook friends is a ranking member of that group.  The “Brotherhood” is short for the Aryan Brotherhood and the group is actually an offshoot of the Indiana Aryan Brotherhood that is active in Indiana and Oregon. 

Some of Barnum’s other Facebook friends are also white supremacists.  An examination of these individuals and their relationships to Barnum and each other reveals that most or all of them knew Barnum from shared time spent at the maximum security Spring Creek Correctional Center in Alaska, where they seem to have composed a small white supremacist prison clique.

Last January, Barnum complained on his Facebook profile that “[too] many people like to look at me & allways [sic] think that im about to do them harm.  When on the real im a friendly guy.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,