We wanted to know whether police officers nationwide were members of extremist groups.

That’s not a simple task, but we found one way to do it. We learned that on Facebook – at the time – you could download the membership rolls of private groups. So, we downloaded the names of members of two different kinds of groups we identified on Facebook: extremist groups and police groups.

We loaded those roughly 1 million names into a database and asked a simple question: How many people were members of at least one extremist group and at least one police group?

It would have taken years to deeply examine all 14,000 hits that surfaced, so we selected a fraction of the list to vet. We worked to verify whether users were actually police officers by reviewing their biographies or photos or matching their names in police records. Sometimes that was easy. Other times, identities were cloaked behind aliases. Sometimes people turned out to not be police officers at all – they’d just joined the police groups as supporters.

We started with a list of more than 1,200 extremist groups compiled by Megan Squire, a computer science professor at Elon University and leading expert on extremism on Facebook. Squire, who has been scouring Facebook for extremists for a couple of years, methodically works through the platform, searching for groups with names that denigrate people by race, religion, gender or sexuality or that contain code words used by extremist movements. And because Facebook recommends new groups based on what Squire searches for, she would find new groups that way, too. When we reviewed the groups, we removed some from the list because we did not believe they met the criteria.

We ultimately identified almost 400 users we confirmed were indeed either currently employed as police officers, sheriffs or prison guards or had once worked in law enforcement. We then tried to join as many of the closed extremist groups as we could to see what members, and in particular officers, were saying inside.

In a series of stories, we’re laying out what we saw: officers engaging in conduct that calls into question their ability to serve their communities without prejudice. More than 50 police departments took action or launched internal investigations after we called them with our findings.

We thought the public should have this information, too. These law enforcement officers wield tremendous power in their communities, making decisions that affect the freedom, safety and lives of people across the country. So, we’re publishing this list.

We’re not listing the names of every officer we confirmed. Some of the officers were added to the groups by other people, so we couldn’t be sure they knew of their membership. Many closed groups didn’t allow us in, so we couldn’t document the behavior of cops we knew were members. We may update the list with further confirmations.

(If you’re a reporter interested in getting tips about possible matches in your community, sign up for our reporting network.)

When compiling this list, we focused exclusively on officers who we could confirm were still actively working, rather than retired, and met at least one of the following criteria: interacted with an extremist group, proactively joined an extremist group, or posted denigrating content on their own public pages and were members of extremist groups.

When officers posted denigrating content, we’ve included screenshots of some of the material they’ve posted.

Interacted with an extremist group

The officers below were all members of extremist Facebook groups and have interacted with at least one of those groups, either posting their own content or commenting on the posts of others.

In some cases, the officers made posts or comments that denigrated people based on their race, religion, sexuality or gender identity. Others we were only able to see interacting with the group in a more mundane way, but this confirmed that they were active members of the group.

Groups are listed with others based on similar themes of hate or extremism. Read a description of each category.

Atascosa County Sheriff

Jourdanton, Texas

Cregg Thompson


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • Stop the Purge of Southern Heritage

Thompson has posted at least once inside a Confederate group.

Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward sent this email in response:

“Chief Thompson stated he doesn’t participate in that group’s conversations. He does research Condeferacy (sic) and US history due to his great great grandfather serving in the Condeferate (sic) army. He doesn’t have any issues and does not conform with hate groups or their activity. I did not see anything whatsoever that he did that is in violation of policy or law or any type of radical behavior or conduct. If there is, please send it to me.

“I would certainly not allow illegal conduct or employees to be involved with hate group activities. Thank you for contacting me.”

We joined the group and found several posts about committing violence against people who disrespect the Confederate flag. The group disappeared from Facebook during our research.

We also attempted to contact Thompson via Facebook, but we haven’t heard back.

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Boundary County Sheriff

Bonners Ferry, Idaho

Dave Schuman


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • Oath Keepers of Boundary County

Schuman has posted multiple times in an Oath Keepers group.

The Boundary County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t responded to our inquiries.

Schuman didn’t respond to a request for an interview.

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Brantley County Sheriff’s Office

Nahunta, Georgia

DeWayne Whisenant


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • III%s and Oath Keepers against the NWO/Bilderbergs

Whisenant has posted at least twice in a militia-connected group.

The Brantley County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t responded to our inquiries, nor has Whisenant.

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Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office

Statesboro, Georgia

Rhett Kelley


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • Sons of Confederate Veterans

Kelley has posted at least twice in a group that celebrates the Confederacy.

We sent Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown a letter informing him of Kelley’s activity on Facebook and followed up with a phone call. We have not heard back.

Kelley did not respond to calls for comment.

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Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office

Asheville, North Carolina

Luke Moody


3 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • Confederate Brotherhood
  • Confederate Resistance
  • North.Carolina.Confederate.Army™

Moody has posted in at least two of the Confederate groups.

We haven’t heard back from the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office about Moody’s Facebook activity, nor have we heard from Moody.

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Community Outreach and Education Program for First Responders, Department of Veterans Affairs Police

Boston, Massachusetts

John Rocca


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • Oath Keepers of Massachusetts (MAOK)

Rocca has posted at least once in an Oath Keepers group.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Police Department has not responded to our inquiries.

Reached by phone, Rocca said he signed up at an Oath Keepers tent at a motorbike rally, but he never attended or organized any meeting and had soured on the group.

“After a few years of watching them, I saw they were going down a path I didn’t like and were getting too radical, and that they weren’t what I wanted to involve myself in or be attached to,” Rocca said.

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Cornwall on Hudson Police Department

Cornwall-On-Hudson, New York

Arthur Terwilliger


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • XII% DIRTY DOZEN NATIONAL

Terwilliger has posted and interacted within a militia-related group.

When we tried to interview Cornwall-on-Hudson Police Chief Steven Dixon, he said to never call him again. “Call the FBI, call the terrorism watch list, call whoever you want,” he said.

In an interview, Terwilliger defended his post and called our reporting “bogus,” saying, “I’m not answering any of your questions.”

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Erie County Sheriff’s Office

Buffalo, New York

Ralph Gibson


3 Number of groups
2 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • Confederate Brothers & Sisters
Islamophobic
  • The Infidel Den – Anti Islam Coalition
  • NORTH AMERICAN DEFENCE LEAGUE AGAINST ISLAM

Gibson has posted in a Confederate group.

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t responded to our emails or calls.

We also attempted to contact Gibson via Facebook, but we haven’t heard back from him.

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Grant County Sheriff

Petersburg, West Virginia

Jason Rohrbaugh


5 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • Southerners Against Censoring Confederate Heritage
  • Stop the Purge of Southern Heritage
  • Confederate American Pride
  • Sons of Confederate Veterans
  • The NEW Facebook Confederacy

Rohrbaugh has posted in at least two Confederate groups.

Grant County Sheriff Brian Ours hasn’t responded to our letters and calls, nor has Rohrbaugh.

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Hampton Roads Regional Jail

Portsmouth, Virginia

Robert Sunukjian


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • Patriot Underground

Sunukjian has posted at least twice inside a group connected to the militia movement.

An internal affairs lieutenant at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail contacted us to say he is investigating.

We attempted to contact Sunukjian via Facebook and also asked the internal affairs lieutenant to ask Sunukjian to call us. We haven’t heard from him.

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Harris County Sheriff’s Office

Houston, Texas

James “JT” Thomas


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Alt-right/racist/white supremacist/white nationalist
  • The White Privilege Club

Thomas posted two comments inside an extremist group.

As a result of our investigation, he was fired from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in February. He appealed his firing, but it was upheld. The Sheriff’s Office sent us this statement:

“Deputy James Thomas’ employment with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office was terminated on Friday, Feb. 1 following an internal investigation that confirmed multiple violations of policies governing employee conduct. These policies state that ‘an employee’s actions must never bring the HCSO into disrepute, nor should conduct be detrimental to the HCSO’s efficient operation. … Personnel who, through their use of social media, cause undue embarrassment or damage the reputation of, or erode the public’s confidence in, the HCSO shall be deemed to have violated this policy and shall be subject to counseling and/or discipline.’ ”

Thomas’ attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said Thomas is hurt by the allegation that he’s racist. “There’s never been any allegation that he has been racially prejudiced,” DeGuerin said.

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Hudson County Correctional Center

Kearny, New Jersey

BIll Harden


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Islamophobic
  • ANTI-ISLAM BROTHERHOOD CO-OP WORLDWIDE

Harden has posted once in an Islamophobic group.

We haven’t heard back from the Hudson County corrections director, Ronald Edwards.

Harden didn’t respond to attempts to contact him.

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Independence Police Department

Independence, Missouri

Walter Thompson


2 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Alt-right/racist/white supremacist/white nationalist
  • Anti-SJW Pinochet’s Helicopter Pilot Academy
  • >implying We Can Discuss Weapons

Thompson has posted at least twice in one of the groups.

The Independence Police Department said its internal affairs department was looking into the matter, but we haven’t heard back from it.

Thompson didn’t respond to a Facebook message.

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King County Department of Adult & Juvenile Detention

Seattle, Washington

Robert Fowler


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Islamophobic
  • Infidel Elite – Against Islam, by the Pen and/or Sword

Fowler has commented in an Islamophobic group.

In early May, the King County Department of Adult & Juvenile Detention sent us this statement: “Officer Fowler is leaving King County employment on May 27. We will provide this information to our Internal Investigations Unit for review. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.”

We also attempted to contact Fowler via Facebook; he hasn’t responded.

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Licking Police Department

Licking, Missouri

Patrick Burton


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • Missouri Oath Keepers

Burton has commented at least once in an Oath Keepers group.

The Licking Police Department, where Burton is the chief, has not responded to our inquiries.

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Los Angeles Police Department

Los Angeles, California

John Valdez


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Alt-right/racist/white supremacist/white nationalist
  • Anti-SJW Pinochet’s Helicopter Pilot Academy

Valdez has commented several times inside an extremist group.

A Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said the department is investigating Valdez’s posts.

A call to Valdez was not answered.

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Louisiana State Penitentiary

Angola, Louisiana

Geoffery Crosby


56 Number of groups
3 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • Confederate Pride
  • Rebel Nation C.S.ASecurity Forces
  • DIXIE PLAYGROUND
  • Rebels ready to rumble
  • Tennessee.Confederate.Army&Militia™
  • Sons of Confederate Veterans
  • Confederate Riders of America – Official Group
  • CSA Reloaded
  • HERITAGE NOT HATE ORGANIZATION. Support the Eastern Confederate State’s
  • Confederate Brotherhood
  • Texas.Confederate.Army™
  • United Confederate States of Am3rica (Main Page)
  • confederates of america
  • REBELS RULE, the south will rise again .!!
  • Oklahoma.Confederate.Army™
  • Confederate States Secret Service
  • Confederate Christians
  • BAN THE NAACP
  • NC – Confederate Riders of America – North Carolina Division
  • Clouds of Glory The Heritage of the Confederate States of America
  • CONFEDERATE LIVES MATTER
  • The Confederate States Reveiw!
  • Confederate Monument Keepers
  • Confederate Resistance
  • Confederate Heritage and History
  • (CFFA) Confederate Freedom Fighters of America (All states main page)
  • Louisiana.Confederate.Army™
  • dixie land defenders of the southern cross & militia
  • The Alabama Flaggers
  • Virginia.Confederate.Army™
  • DOWN AND DIRTY Southern Style
  • The Confederate regulators, Southern strong
  • Southern Confederate Pride
  • Political Confederates Unreconstructed
  • MID-SOUTH FLAGGERS
  • Kansas.Confederate.Army™
  • Brothers and Sisters of the 111%ers Confederacy
  • Todays Secession Movement
  • Delaware.Confederate.Army™
  • Hillbilly Confederate Citizens
  • Confederate Fist Fight
  • Southern Confederate Patriots ( SCP )
  • Confederate Brothers & Sisters
  • Southerners Against Censoring Confederate Heritage
  • Confederate Monument Preservation Society
  • Rebel Nation C.S.AMississippi State
  • Arkansas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV)
  • The Confederate Army
  • The NEW Facebook Confederacy
  • Confederate Unreconstructed
  • Kentucky.Confederate.Army™
Alt-right/racist/white supremacist/white nationalist
  • Stop the War on Christianity and White America
  • White lives matter
Islamophobic
  • Stop Radical Islam in America
  • THE VOICE OF THE AMERICAN INFIDELS.

Crosby is a member of more extremist groups than any other officer we found in our investigation.

The Louisiana Department of Corrections emailed to say that it is currently reviewing the information we provided but that this is a “personnel matter into which there is an open investigation, which we cannot discuss.”

Reached by phone, Crosby refused to answer our questions and simply said, “Put this in your report: Don’t call me at work again.”

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Luray Police Department

Luray, Virginia

Henry Molina


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • Three Percenters – Virginia

Molina has posted at least once in a group connected to the Three Percenters militia group.

Luray Police Chief Bow Cook said he has spoken with Molina, and he has no concerns about his activity on Facebook.

“I’m confident he’s not a member of an anti-government militia,” Cook said. “A lot of cops are into guns, but Henry Molina is about the furthest officer I know from that stuff.”

Molina didn’t respond to requests for comment by phone and Facebook.

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Mississippi Highway Patrol

Biloxi, Mississippi

Shelby L. Smith III


13 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • The Confederate regulators, Southern strong
  • Confederate Monument Preservation Society
  • Sons of Confederate Veterans
  • Confederate Brothers & Sisters
  • Confederate Facebook
  • The Confederate States Reveiw!
  • Brothers and Sisters of the 111%ers Confederacy
  • Confederate Resistance
  • Confederate Brotherhood
  • Sons of Confederate Veterans
  • Mississippi confederate rally riders
  • Confederate Defenders
  • Delta Flaggers – PR and Discussion

Smith interacted inside at least one of the 13 Confederate groups. He also joined at least one of the groups himself.

We haven’t heard back from the Mississippi Highway Patrol despite leaving several messages, nor have we heard back from Smith.

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New York Police Department

New York, New York

Randy C. Paulsaint


13 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Misogynist/men’s rights
  • Black MGTOW Bunch
  • MGTOW USA
  • Childfree & MGTOW
  • MGTOW Universe
  • Men’s Rights
  • TheXYGhost – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen — MGTOW Strong!
  • TheXYGhost Stories – MGTOW
  • MGTOW MEN ONLY
  • TheXYGhost – The False Rape Allegation Archive
  • MGTOW Uncensored
  • MGTOW Worldwide
  • Men Going Their Own Way
  • MRA/MGTOW Exercise & Activities Group

Paulsaint has commented in several men’s rights groups, several of which fall under the anti-feminist movement known as Men Going Their Own Way.

An internal affairs investigator at the New York Police Department said that after a complete investigation, the case was closed as unsubstantiated. “The investigation was unable to clearly prove or disprove that the subject officer made the offending posts,” the investigator said.

We attempted to reach Paulsaint via Facebook, telephone and email. We exchanged text messages with someone at a number listed publicly for Paulsaint, but that person claimed not to be Paulsaint. Shortly after our communication, Paulsaint’s account disappeared from Facebook.

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New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

Albany, New York

Daniel Patterson


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Alt-right/racist/white supremacist/white nationalist
  • Sons of Odin

Patterson has posted at least twice in an extremist group.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision hasn’t responded to our inquiries.

Patterson didn’t respond to a request to be interviewed.

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New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

Albany, New York

Matthew J. Feimer


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Alt-right/racist/white supremacist/white nationalist
  • CAUCASIAN HISTORY MONTH

Feimer has commented at least once inside the extremist group.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision hasn’t responded to our inquiries.

Feimer hasn’t responded to Facebook messages.

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New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Greene Correctional Facility

Coxsackie, New York

Duane Keezer


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Alt-right/racist/white supremacist/white nationalist
  • Sons of Odin

Keezer has interacted inside an extremist group.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision told us that Keezer was employed by the department but was on leave. The department didn’t comment on his activity.

Keezer said in an interview that he wasn’t on leave and that he participates in the group to persuade racist Odinists to change, though we could not verify this. Keezer also said that he’s served in the military overseas and that he has no problem with people of color or of other religions.

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Passaic County Sheriff’s Office

Paterson, New Jersey

William Pehush


7 Number of groups
3 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • Deplorables III% Bikers for America
Alt-right/racist/white supremacist/white nationalist
  • Rhodesia Bushposting™
  • Crusades Against Degeneracy
Islamophobic
  • Any islamist insults infidels, I will put him under my feet
  • INFIDEL BROTHERHOOD INTERNATIONAL.
  • Sons and Daughters of Odin America

Pehush has commented and posted in several groups.

Detectives from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office said they’re investigating Pehush’s Facebook activity.

Pehush hasn’t responded to calls or Facebook messages.

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Portland Police Bureau

Portland, Oregon

Eric Salmestrelli


2 Number of groups
2 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • MILITARY PATRIOT OATH KEEPERS
Islamophobic
  • THE VOICE OF THE AMERICAN INFIDELS.

Salmestrelli has posted numerous times inside a group connected to the Oath Keepers.

The Portland Police Bureau carried out an internal affairs investigation but concluded that no action was necessary because “as the posts in question all occurred prior to the member’s employment with PPB, no jurisdiction existed for the enforcement of a policy related to a member that was not employed at the time of the violation.”

Salmestrelli couldn’t be reached for comment.

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Ravalli County Sheriff

Hamilton, Montana

Greg McWhirter


15 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • The American Resistance Movement
  • OathKeepers Summit, Gilbert, WV. Everyone Welcome!
  • MILITARY PATRIOT OATH KEEPERS
  • Idaho Oath Keepers
  • Illinois Oath Keepers
  • Kentucky Oath Keepers
  • North Carolina Oath Keepers
  • OATH AND PROMISE KEEPERS
  • Ohio Oath Keepers Recruitment Page
  • III%s and Oath Keepers against the NWO/Bilderbergs
  • Oath Keepers of Alaska
  • West Virginia OathKeepers
  • Oath Keepers of Massachusetts (MAOK)
  • Nebraska Oath Keepers
  • Oath Keepers Oklahoma *III*

McWhirter has posted inside several Oath Keeper groups.

We haven’t heard back from Ravalli County Sheriff Stephen Holton about McWhirter’s activity on Facebook.

Reached by phone, McWhirter refused to answer questions.

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Rocky Top Police Department

Rocky Top, Tennessee

Todd Johnston


2 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • Three Percenters – Tennessee
  • Militia Wanted Tennessee

Johnston is a member of two groups connected to the militia movement, and he has posted in at least one.

Rocky Top Police Chief Jim Shetterly didn’t respond to emails or several messages.

We attempted to contact Johnston via Facebook and left him messages at the department. We haven’t heard back.

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Simpson County Sheriff’s Office

Franklin, Kentucky

Bart Blythe


3 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • Virginia.Confederate.Army™
  • Florida Confederate Army. All states and countrys
  • Confederate Brothers & Sisters

Blythe posted two comments in a Confederate group.

Simpson County Sheriff Jere Dee Hopson hasn’t responded to numerous emails and phone calls.

Blythe didn’t respond to messages on Facebook.

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Sylvania Police Department

Sylvania, Georgia

Julian Dews


2 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • Confederate Heritage Matters!
  • The Confederate Eagle

Dews has commented in a Confederate group.

Sylvania Police Chief Shane Burke said he would discuss personnel matters only in person and wouldn’t talk to us over the phone.

We attempted to contact Dews via Facebook, but we haven’t heard back from him.

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Texas State Troopers, Department of Public Safety

Austin, Texas

Kevin Lashlee


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Alt-right/racist/white supremacist/white nationalist
  • Anti-SJW Pinochet’s Helicopter Pilot Academy

Lashlee has posted multiple times in an extremist group.

The Texas Department of Public Safety told us an investigation into Lashlee’s postings is ongoing.

We also attempted to contact Lashlee via Facebook, but we haven’t heard back from him.

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Warren Police Department

Warren, Massachusetts

Dave Mellen


4 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Islamophobic
  • Our Eye on Islam
  • STOP OBAMA AND CRONIES : RADICAL LEFTIES, ISLAMISTS, MEDIA LIES
  • THE VOICE OF THE AMERICAN INFIDELS.
  • INFIDEL BROTHERHOOD INTERNATIONAL

Mellen has posted at least once in an Islamophobic group.

Warren Police Chief Bruce Spiewakowski said he wouldn’t respond to our inquiries because this is a personnel matter.

Mellen hasn’t responded to email or Facebook messages.

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West Vincent Township Police Department

Chester Springs, Pennsylvania

Justin Fritz


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • SONS OF LIBERTY

Fritz has posted at least once inside a group connected to the militia movement.

We haven’t heard back from the West Vincent Township Police Department or from Fritz.

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Westchester County Police Department

Hawthorne, New York

Steve Fumuso


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Alt-right/racist/white supremacist/white nationalist
  • Anti-SJW Pinochet’s Helicopter Pilot Academy

Fumuso has commented in an extremist group.

Westchester County informed us that it had launched an internal affairs investigation into Fumuso’s Facebook postings.

A spokesperson for the county also provided the following statement:

“While it is not our practice to comment on private personnel matters, we would like to assure the public that Westchester County does not condone hate speech, or other rhetoric meant to intimidate or alienate any member of our community. Westchester is a county rich in diversity. Our County workforce exercises tolerance, and we pride ourselves on behaving in a manner that is professional and courteous always. Any allegations will be taken very seriously.”

In an interview, Fumuso defended his postings and said that he retired from the department after the internal affairs investigation but that his retirement wasn’t connected to the investigation.

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Winchester Police Department

Winchester, Tennessee

Lamar Howard


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • Confederate Brothers & Sisters

Howard has posted at least once in a Confederate group.

We received the following response from Deputy Chief of Police Kelly Gass at the Winchester Police Department:

“We have spoken to Sergeant Howard about the group. He stated that he became a member of the group because of the title ‘Confederate Brothers and Sisters.’ He had family members that fought in the Civil War and likes reading about the history of the time period. He stated that when he started seeing racist speech and memes that he unfriended the group. You should find that he has unfriended the group several months ago.

“You should find that Sergeant Howard has only been a member of Facebook for about a year and this is the only social media outlet that he has ever been exposed to.”

However, Facebook shows that Howard had been a member of the group for at least two years. Howard joined the group himself and wasn’t added to the group by another member.

Administrators of the group pose the following question to would-be members: “This group is sometimes racist does this bother you?”

Howard didn’t respond to a request for comment sent via Facebook.

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Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Jackson Correctional Institution

Black River Falls, Wisconsin

Sheldon Best


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Alt-right/racist/white supremacist/white nationalist
  • Crusades Against Degeneracy

Best has commented in an extremist group he joined.

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections hasn’t responded to our inquiries.

In an interview, Best acknowledged that “some people” could view his membership in the group as problematic. However, he said that while some members of the group hold racist, Islamophobic, homophobic and anti-Semitic views, he does not.

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Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department

Kansas City, Kansas

George Holt IV


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • Missouri Oath Keepers

Holt posted several times inside an Oath Keepers group.

Wyandotte County Sheriff Don Ash sent us the following response via email: “At this point, we cannot determine that Holt has violated our policy regarding Speech, Expression and Social Networking.”

Holt didn’t respond to an interview request.

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York County Prison

York, Pennsylvania

Jim McHale


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • MILITARY PATRIOT OATH KEEPERS

McHale has posted at least twice in an Oath Keepers group.

York County hasn’t responded to our inquiries.

We attempted to reach McHale via Facebook, but we haven’t heard back from him.

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Proactively joined an extremist group

These officers proactively joined an extremist group themselves, though we couldn’t determine whether they interacted within a group, in many cases because we couldn’t get inside.

Until late 2018, Facebook allowed users to invite friends to join groups. The invitees would receive a notification telling them they had been added, and depending on each user’s algorithm, the user’s news feed might include content from the group. But it’s possible that cops could have been added to groups without realizing it.

That doesn’t apply to this list of officers, because they sought membership in these groups themselves.

Groups are listed with others based on similar themes of hate or extremism. Read a description of each category.

Chicago Police Department

Chicago, Illinois

Martin Tully


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • Oath Keepers

Tully joined a group connected to the Oath Keepers.

The Chicago Police Department forwarded the information we sent to the Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which has not, to our knowledge, taken any action or made any recommendations regarding Tully.

We also attempted to contact Tully via Facebook. We haven’t heard back.

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Gwinnett County Sheriffs Office

Lawrenceville, Georgia

John Bush


3 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • New Confederate Army
  • The NEW Facebook Confederacy
  • Confederate Brothers & Sisters

Bush joined a Confederate group.

The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Professional Standards Unit told us that it is looking into what we found, but said it had not concluded its investigation.

Bush declined an interview request.

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Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport Police Department

Savannah, Georgia

Ernest Ramsey


4 Number of groups
3 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • CONFEDERATE LIVES MATTER
Alt-right/racist/white supremacist/white nationalist
  • Crusades Against Degeneracy
Islamophobic
  • Any islamist insults infidels, I will put him under my feet
  • NO Islam In Schools or Sharia Law in USA

Ramsey joined at least one extremist group himself.

Savannah airport Police Chief Sedrick Rivers told us that he is taking this case very seriously and that the information we uncovered has been instrumental in helping him draft new policies for social media use at the department. Rivers hasn’t said whether he is taking any disciplinary action.

Ramsey hasn’t responded to calls or Facebook messages.

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Union County Sheriff’s Office

Monroe, North Carolina

Jamie Grigg


2 Number of groups
2 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • Sons of Confederate Veterans
Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • Three Percenters – North Carolina

Grigg joined a group connected to the Three Percenters.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office thanked us for bringing this matter to its attention, saying it would address it with Grigg, but we haven’t heard anything further.

We attempted to contact Grigg via Facebook, but he didn’t respond.

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Posted denigrating content on their own public pages and were members of extremist groups

In several of these cases, we don’t know whether these officers also were posting inside closed groups, because we’re not a member of the groups they’re in. But we could see denigrating content they posted publicly.

Groups are listed with others based on similar themes of hate or extremism. Read a description of each category.

Abbeville Police Department

Abbeville, Georgia

Joel Quinn


2 Number of groups
2 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • Confederate Brothers & Sisters
Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • The American Resistance Movement

Quinn has posted inside a Confederate group and shared content denigrating Muslims and immigrants on his personal wall.

The Abbeville Police Department hasn’t responded to multiple phone calls and emails.

Reached via Facebook Messenger, Quinn defended his posts. “Its also my responsibility to detect possible threats to my community all the way up to and including my country,” he wrote. “Think about this, majority of crimes are committed by minorities (black, hispanic, etc) per FBI statistics yet I don’t ‘prey’ on any particular one nor do I look down on anyone that’s been to jail or prison. We all do something stupid, right?”

According to the latest FBI Uniform Crime Reporting statistics, 68.9 percent of arrestees in 2017 were white.

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Chicago Police Department

Chicago, Illinois

Richard Moravec


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Islamophobic
  • Any islamist insults infidels, I will put him under my feet

We could not determine whether Moravec posted inside the Islamophobic group he was a member of because the group was removed from Facebook during our investigation. However, Moravec has posted anti-LGBTQ and Islamophobic content on his personal Facebook wall.

The Chicago Police Department forwarded the information we sent to the Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

Moravec didn’t respond to our attempts to contact him.

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Georgia State Patrol

Atlanta, Georgia

Duane Massey


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • Supporters of the Confederate Battle Flag

Massey has posted inside a Confederate group and shared content denigrating multiple communities on his personal wall.

Georgia State Patrol Major Tommy Waldrop hasn’t responded to our inquiries.

Massey hasn’t responded to phone calls or Facebook messages.

According to the latest FBI Uniform Crime Reporting statistics, 68.9 percent of arrestees in 2017 were white.

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Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office

Harvey, Louisiana

Robert Pellegrin


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Confederate/Southern pride/secessionist
  • Confederate Monument Preservation Society

We couldn’t see whether Pellegrin has posted inside the Confederate group he’s a member of because the group administrators wouldn’t let us join, but he posted a racist comment on his personal Facebook wall.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office hasn’t responded to our inquiries, nor has Pellegrin.

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Kingsville Police Department

Kingsville, Texas

Lonnie Allen Brown


3 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Islamophobic
  • DEATH TO ISLAM UNDERCOVER
  • INFIDEL BROTHERHOOD INTERNATIONAL.
  • INFIDEL BROTHERHOOD INTERNATIONAL

Brown is a member of three Islamophobic groups and also has posted content denigrating multiple communities on his personal Facebook profile.

Kingsville Police Chief Ricardo Torres hasn’t responded to numerous emails and phone calls, nor has Brown.

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Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office

Mount Vernon, Missouri

Richard Crites


3 Number of groups
3 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • OathKeepers Summit, Gilbert, WV. Everyone Welcome!
Islamophobic
  • STOP OBAMA AND CRONIES : RADICAL LEFTIES, ISLAMISTS, MEDIA LIES
Misogynist/men’s rights
  • The Domestic Violence Industry Lies False Accusations VAWA Fraud

Crites, a reserve deputy, has posted in extremist groups and shared Islamophobic content on his personal Facebook wall.

Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay said he hasn’t received any complaints about Crites.

He didn’t respond to repeated phone calls and emails. We also emailed Crites, contacted him via Facebook and made several calls to his home and office numbers. We haven’t heard back.

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New Jersey Department of Corrections

Trenton, New Jersey

Joseph Bonadio


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Islamophobic
  • INFIDEL BROTHERHOOD INTERNATIONAL.

We haven’t seen Bonadio posting inside the Islamophobic group of which he’s a member, but he has posted content denigrating multiple communities on his personal Facebook wall.

The New Jersey Department of Corrections sent us the following statement: “We can confirm that there is a New Jersey Department of Corrections employee named Joseph Bonadio. We are aware of the allegations referenced. These allegations will be investigated and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken, if warranted.”

Bonadio hasn’t responded to messages sent via Facebook.

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New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

Albany, New York

Brian Kelley


1 Number of groups
1 Types of groups

Militia/Oath Keeper/3 Percenter
  • Central New York Oathkeepers

Kelley has posted several times inside an Oath Keepers group and shared Islamophobic content on his personal Facebook wall.

We have not received a response to our inquiries from the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

We also attempted to contact Kelley via Facebook, but we haven’t heard back from him.

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Researchers Daneel Knoetze and Michael Dailey contributed to this story. It was edited by Andrew Donohue and Matt Thompson.

Will Carless can be reached at wcarless@revealnews.org, and Michael Corey can be reached at mcorey@revealnews.org. Follow Carless on Twitter: @willcarless.

Will Carless was a correspondent for Reveal covering extremism. He has worked as a foreign correspondent in Asia and South America. Prior to joining Reveal, he was a senior correspondent for Public Radio International’s Global Post team based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Before that, Will spent eight years at the Voice of San Diego, where he worked as an investigative reporter and head of investigations. During his tenure in San Diego, Will was awarded several prizes, including a national award from Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has been a finalist for the Livingston Awards for young journalists twice in the last five years. He surfs, spends time with his family, travels to silly places and pretends he’s writing a novel.

Michael Corey is Reveal's senior data editor. He leads a team of data journalists who seek to distill large datasets into compelling and easily understandable stories using the tools of journalism, statistics and programming. His specialties include mapping, the U.S.-Mexico border, scientific data and working with remote sensing. Corey's work has been honored with an Online Journalism Award, an Emmy Award, a Polk Award, an IRE Medal and other national awards. He previously worked for the Des Moines Register and graduated from Drake University. He is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.