The FBI is warning police departments that white supremacists are looking to affiliate themselves with law enforcement to further their agendas.
Between 2016 and 2020, FBI agents and analysts with the San Antonio division of FBI launched investigations into the various activities of right-wing extremists and white supremacists, according to ABC News. Based on the evidence found, the FBI has concluded that right-wing extremists and white supremacists would “very likely seek affiliation with military and law enforcement entities in furtherance of” their beliefs and ideologies, according to a confidential intelligence assessment issued released last month.
The document has been sent to law enforcement agencies in Texas and other parts of the country. The report titled, “Siege-Inspired Actors Very Likely Seek Military and Law Enforcement Affiliation, Increasing Risk of Tradecraft Proliferation and Color of Law Offenses in the FBI San Antonio Area of Responsibility,” focuses on white supremacists who were inspired by the white supremacist publication “Siege,” which was rhetoric followed by the neo-Nazi group known as “Atomwaffen Division.”
“In the long term, FBI San Antonio assesses [racially motivated violent extremists] successfully entering military and law enforcement careers almost certainly will gain access to non-public tradecraft and information, enabling them to enhance operational security and develop new tactics in and beyond the FBI San Antonio” region, the document said.
FBI spokesperson Katherine Gulotta said that “FBI field offices routinely share information with their local law enforcement partners to assist in protecting the communities they serve.” She did not specifically address the content of the report. White supremacists throughout history have infiltrated government and law enforcement entities, including the military, the police force, ICE, and more.
“When we asked the FBI last year to testify about white supremacists executing plans to infiltrate law enforcement entities across America, the bureau refused and told us it had no evidence that racist infiltration was a problem,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said in a statement. “Now, the January insurrection — and the growing evidence of off-duty law enforcement officers being involved in the attack on Congress — and this newly-leaked report confirm in my mind that the FBI’s failure to level with the American people about organized racist infiltration of law enforcement is having dangerous and deadly consequences.”
While this may be “new” information to the FBI, the police force has historically been known as the modernized American police system which derived from overseers, night watches, and slave patrols.
“The birth and development of the American police can be traced to a multitude of historical, legal and political-economic conditions. The institution of slavery and the control of minorities, however, were two of the more formidable historic features of American society shaping early policing. Slave patrols and Night Watches, which later became modern police departments, were both designed to control the behaviors of minorities,” wrote Victor E. Kappeler, Ph.D., in an article titled, “A Brief History of Slavery and the Origins of American Policing” for Eastern Kentucky University.
“For example, New England settlers appointed Indian Constables to police Native Americans (National Constable Association, 1995), the St. Louis police were founded to protect residents from Native Americans in that frontier city, and many southern police departments began as slave patrols. In 1704, the colony of Carolina developed the nation’s first slave patrol. Slave patrols helped to maintain the economic order and to assist the wealthy landowners in recovering and punishing slaves who essentially were considered property.”