A St. Louis police sergeant said that there are some white supremacist cops on the force there, an admission that comes amid a nationwide focus on extremist elements embedded withing forces sworn to protect Americans.
As CBS News reported, Heather Taylor, a 19-year veteran of the St. Louis Metro police department, said that the department’s top leadership are allowing white supremacist elements to slip through the cracks. She made reference to a recent report from the Plain View Project that identified thousands of racist and derogatory social media posts that included ones from 22 current members of the St. Louis Metro police force. As CBS News noted, one of the posts compared Black Lives Matter to the KKK.
Taylor is the president of Ethical Society of Police, which the report noted is a predominantly black local union dedicated to addressing racial discrimination on the police force there. She is speaking out against what she believes are extremist elements on the force there, saying the department needs to do more to root them out.
The St. Louis Metro police instituted a number of changes in the wake of the death of Michael Brown and the widespread unrest that followed in Ferguson. A report from the Department of Justice found that the Ferguson Police Department was racked with abuse and racial discrimination, including a series of violent incidents toward people of color, all of which contributed to the unrest that followed Brown’s death.
As CBS News reported, the St. Louis Metro police department instituted implicit bias training for all of its officers after Brown’s death, though Taylor said that it was “pretty obvious’ that it didn’t work as there were still white supremacist officers who remained on the force.
"Do you think that there are white supremacists on the police force?"— Wesley (@WesleyLowery) August 7, 2019
"Yes" said Heather Taylor, an almost 19-year veteran on the St. Louis Metro police force.
"You didn't even pause."
"Have you seen some of the Facebook posts? https://t.co/s4xNw40NNe
Other police departments have come under fire for officers found to be promoting white supremacist ideas and for maintaining close connections to extremist groups. In Portland, Oregon, a police department lieutenant was revealed to have been sending friendly text messages with the leader of a far-right group. As NBC News reported, Mayor Ted Wheeler order an independent investigation after the text messages came to light, which had led to allegations that the police department was colluding with the group and gave them preferential treatment. There have been a series of violent clashes in Oregon between members of the far-right group and other far-left elements, with the two sides clashing at a series of rallies.