Contractors linked to fascist paramilitary groups paid to train police in at least 12 US states

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A new report from Reuters details links between Trump-aligned fascist militias and police departments across the country. The report identifies five “police trainers” who have been paid taxpayer dollars by police departments in at least 12 states, including Idaho, Washington, Texas and Missouri.

The report claims the trainers have links to the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters and Proud Boys militias. Members of these groups are currently facing the most serious charges stemming from Trump’s failed January 6, 2021 coup, including seditious conspiracy, to which three Oath Keepers have already pleaded guilty.

One of the trainers identified by Reuters is Richard Whitehead, the current owner of Richard Whitehead & Assoc. LLC. The company, according to Reuters, is one of “35 training companies that have advertised at least 10 police or public safety training sessions in 2021” on policetraining.net, a website used by law enforcement agencies. United States police to find for-profit trainers.

In addition to being a dues-paying member of the Oath Keepers from 2016 to 2017, Whitehead ran for sheriff of Kootenai County, Idaho in 2020. Before and during the campaign, he openly aligned himself with the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. , a far-right movement founded by former sheriff and Oath Keeper co-founder Richard Mack.

Whitehead cut a promotional video with the Three Percenters group as part of his campaign, Reuters notes.

Public records analyzed by the news agency show Whitehead taught “at least 560 police and other public safety officers in 85 sessions in 12 states over the past four years.”

Trump supporters storm the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Whitehead boasts that before training the police full-time, he spent 33 years in law enforcement, including heading ‘homicide, SWAT, communications and intelligence’ sections. He claims to have “trained investigators of all types in statement analysis,” including detectives, private investigators and members of the Texas Rangers.

Reuters wrote that its review of Whitehead’s social media posts found he had previously called for the “execution of government officials he considers disloyal” to Trump. In language echoed by members of the Michigan Boogaloo Boys militia who plotted to kidnap and possibly assassinate Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer ahead of the November 2020 election, Whitehead called on police to ignore health orders public COVID-19 issued by “tyrannical governors”. warning, “We are on the brink of civil war.”

Whitehead is currently scheduled to hold police training courses in May, June, July, August, September and October 2022, per policetraining.net. Classes are scheduled to take place in Belton, Harker, Heights and McKinney, Texas; Missoula, Montana; Neosho, Missouri; Fruitland, Idaho and Seattle, Washington.

Another far-right police trainer identified by Reuters is Ryan Morris, founder of Tripwire Operations Group. Morris says his company held about 50 training courses in 2021, “about half” of which were attended by law enforcement types.

In an interview with Reuters, he admitted that he and other Tripwire trainers were in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021. Prior to January 6, Tripwire’s social media accounts promoted Trump’s lies about the theft of elections. In an article, written a month before the attack on the US Capitol, Morris called Biden’s victory a “coup, the overthrow of America’s free electoral system, the end of our constitutional republic and amalgamation.” [sic] of capitalism in the slide towards socialism.

In his interview, Morris admitted that he and “several other” Tripwire trainers were employed at the “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6, 2021.

Morris declined to tell Reuters who hired him or in what capacity the Tripwire trainers were employed at the rally, but said they were sometimes hired to “help law enforcement” or “protect people.” senior executives”.

Another fascist police trainer identified in the report is an individual named Tim Kennedy, who told Reuters he had conducted “about 200 training sessions across the United States in 2021” for police officers. The previous year, he shared a position in which he aligned himself with the Boogaloo Boys.

In this article, he wrote about his desire to “boogaloo”, a euphemism for a violent race war. Two months later, Kennedy posted a photo of himself wearing a Hawaiian shirt, the unofficial uniform of the Boogaloo movement, while aiming an assault rifle. The photo was captioned, “If you choose to be an asshole… I picked out a special shirt for the occasion.”

According to Reuters, in addition to promoting the Boogaloo Boys on social media, Kennedy frequently interacted with Proud Boys frontman Joseph Biggs. Biggs is currently incarcerated for his actions on January 6.

A U.S. Army veteran and Fascist newspaper correspondentInfowars” hosted by Alex Jones, Biggs faces multiple charges including obstructing Congress, obstructing law enforcement, destroying government property, and assaulting, resisting, or obstructing law enforcement.

Reuters notes that “Kennedy’s Twitter account shows he was an associate of Joe Biggs…their online interactions were as recent as May 2018, several months before Biggs’ Twitter account was suspended.” In Twitter posts, Kennedy discussed going on motorcycle rides with Biggs and offering him the job of Home Secretary in his make-believe administration.

The pair also discussed an alleged Antifa rally, with Biggs writing, “Going downtown to cause havoc,” to which Kennedy enthusiastically replied, “Same. It looks like a date!”

Biggs, whose trial is scheduled for August 8, was pictured at the Trump International Hotel with South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham in November 2019.

That police departments and federal agencies across the country employ the services of fascist paramilitary types with militia ties to “train” their forces will come as no surprise to regular readers of the World Socialist Website.

Last year, the WSWS reported that during the January 6 attack on Congress, the United States Capitol Police Containment Emergency Response Team, or CERT, which was tasked with evacuate members of Congress, did not respond to calls for help.

In testimony before Congress, now-retired Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton revealed that Capitol Police paid a private contractor, Northern Red LLC, more than $90,000. in 2018 and 2019 to form the CERT. According to a report by Bolton, the CERT team refused to fire its “less lethal” rounds to protect Congress.

Northern Red founder and CEO John-David Potysnky is a former US Army Special Forces soldier who continues to use neo-Nazi iconography in his company’s logo and uniform patches to this day. as well as on its website. Bolton warned in his testimony that there was an urgent need for Capitol Police to immediately sever all ties with the neo-fascist group. It seems, however, that other US government agencies did not feel the same way.

On Northern Red’s website, the company continues to advertise training services for police and military “only”. The website notes that in March, Northern Red held a “close combat” course for military and police personnel at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, commonly known as Fort Dix, located south of Trenton, New Jersey.

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