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KKK Members Who Worked in Florida Prisons Arrested for Planning to Murder Black Inmate

By Jason Dearen, Gary Fineout, AP July 11, 2017

Three Ku Klux Klan members who worked at a Florida prison have been charged with plotting to kill a black inmate after his release because they believed the man is infected with HIV and hepatitis and he bit one of them during a fight, officials said Thursday.

The case comes as the latest black eye for the troubled state prison system.

The three men — Thomas Jordan Driver, 25, David Elliot Moran, 47, and Charles Thomas Newcomb, 42 — were arrested Thursday and each faces one state count of conspiracy to commit murder, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's office said in a written statement.

The state said the murder plot started after Driver, an officer at the Department of Corrections Reception and Medical Center in rural north Florida, had a fight with the inmate.

Moran is currently a sergeant at that facility. Newcomb was fired in 2013 for failing to meet training requirements, according to the department.

Bondi's office said the three were also members of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The group has garnered attention in recent months for distributing flyers that likened protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, to terrorists.

The FBI was initially alerted to the murder plot by a confidential informant inside the Klan, according to an arrest affidavit.

The informant was present when Driver and Moran talked with Newcomb, identified as the KKK chapter's "Exalted Cyclops" or leader, and recorded many of their conversations.

In late 2014, authorities say Driver provided the Klan chapter, called a klavern, with a photograph of the inmate, who'd been let out on supervised release.

"Both Driver and Moran ... told the (confidential informant) that they wanted (the inmate) 'six feet under'," the FBI's affidavit said.

The informant recorded all three men making plans to murder the inmate — ranging from shooting him to injecting with a lethal dose of insulin, which Newcomb said "would be quieter." In the recordings, the men often refer to the man using a racial epithet.   

Should We Trust Police Officers?
Are police officers allowed to lie to you? Yes the Supreme Court has ruled that police officers can lie to the American people. Police officers are trained at lying, twisting words and being manipulative. Police officers and other law enforcement agents are very skilled at getting information from people. So don’t try to “out smart” a police officer and don’t try being a “smooth talker” because you will lose! If you can keep your mouth shut, you just might come out ahead more than you expected. Related article: 
46,000+ American citizens are currently serving time for crimes that they did not commit  

Don't want your information monitored online? Whatever you do, don't Google.
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Last fall, prison system officials fired nearly 50 employees, including several over allegations that they punched and beat inmates.

The deaths of inmates Randall Jordan-Aparo and Darren Rainey also drew attention.

Jordan-Aparo was reportedly gassed while in a confinement cell at the Franklin Correctional Institution.

Rainey, a mentally ill prisoner, was punished in 2012 with a shower so hot that his skin separated from his body at Dade Correctional Institution. The warden there was fired.

Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones, who was hired late last year to lead the troubled agency, called the arrests "disquieting."

"We are moving swiftly to terminate the employees arrested today and working closely with Office of the Attorney General to assist in their prosecution," she said in a written statement.

"Our Department has zero tolerance for racism or prejudice of any kind. The actions of these individuals are unacceptable and do not, in any way, represent the thousands of good, hardworking honorable correctional officers employed at the Department of Corrections." 

Oakland police bombshells: Racist texts, latest chief steps down

By Rachel Swan, Phil Matier and Matier & Ross, June 18, 2016

Oakland’s acting police chief Paul Figueroa stepped down Friday, becoming the third head of the Oakland Police Department to abruptly leave the top post in nine days, just as another bombshell dropped: A new internal investigation is under way, this time into racist text messages and emails shared among officers.

A visibly frustrated Mayor Libby Schaaf revealed the probe at a news conference Friday night that she began with a simple declaration: “I am here to run a police department, not a frat house.” With that, she disclosed that her city’s department, already engulfed in a sex scandal, was also being probed for racist communications that were “wholly inappropriate and not acceptable for anyone who wears the badge of the Oakland Police Department.”

The texts were sent by African American officers, Schaaf said. She would not give other details, including whether members of the police command staff were implicated, saying state law governing public release of police disciplinary matters prevented her from doing so.

Some of the officers being investigated were “engaging in hate speech,” and others were “tolerating it” by receiving offensive messages and not reporting them, Schaaf said. One text obtained by NBC news showed an image of a Ku Klux Klan member on a cereal box with the message, “Brad, I heard you got boxes of these in your cupboards.” Another text appeared to show the word, “N—.”

In a move in which the mayor indicated she had lost faith in police leaders to run the department, she disclosed that she would not appoint another interim or acting chief to the top post. Instead, the department will have no chief, and for the time being command staff will report to City Administrator Sabrina Landreth as Oakland conducts a national search for a new chief.

“I feel that this is an appropriate time to place civilian oversight over this Police Department, to send a clear message about not tolerating misconduct, and to root out what is clearly a toxic, macho culture,” Schaaf said.

News of Figueroa’s decision came just hours after the explosive revelation that longtime Oakland police veteran Sgt. Mike Gantt had allowed his girlfriend to write some of his reports — and that she had shared confidential case information on social media, according to sources familiar with the matter. That development came amid an ever-expanding sexual misconduct case that has now implicated law enforcement officers at several other law enforcement agencies and at least one employee at a U.S. Department of Defense agency.

Schaaf declined to discuss Gantt’s case at the news conference, saying it would compromise her ability to seek the highest punishment possible. She said the department has referred cases he investigated that could be tainted to the Alameda County District Attorney’s office. 

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KKK in your local Police Dept.
By Christopher R Rice

From the
Los Angeles Times: LOS ANGELES- The somber image of Death's hooded skull and scythe tattooed onto the inside of the deputy's left ankle initiated him into a select fraternity called the Grim Reapers. Then a street cop at the Lennox station, this deputy has risen to a key position in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department - along with other members of his "club." The groups - with macho monikers like the Pirates, Vikings, Rattlesnakes and Cavemen - have long been a subculture in the country's largest Sheriff's Department and, in some cases, an inside track to acceptance in the ranks.

Senior officers say they began with the creation of the Little Devils at the East Los Angeles station in 1971. Membership swelled in the 1980s at overwhelmingly white sheriff's stations that were islands in black and Latino immigrant communities.

A federal judge hearing class-action litigation against the department described the most well-known of the groups, the Lynwood Vikings, as a "neo-Nazi, white supremacist gang" and found that deputies had engaged in racially motivated hostility. The county paid $9 million in fines and training costs to settle the lawsuits in 1996. But today, groups like the Grim Reapers are enjoying renewed popularity among young deputies, who say the groups are fraternities that bond on morale-building values, not race. A new group - the Regulators - has formed at the Century station, and even suburban deputies are thinking about getting tattoos.

Many in law enforcement are members "it's not unusual to find a police officer who is secretly a Klansman," said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups.

From the
Associated Press: Fruitland Park FL. PD, has been dealing with KKK ties and other problems in the police ranks since 2010, Officer James Elkins resigned after his estranged wife made his membership public.

Fruitland Park FL. PD were linked in July 2014 to the United Northern and Southern Knights Chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement sent the police chief a report linking the officers to the Klan based on information from the FBI.

From The
Washington Post: The small city of Jennings, Mo., had a police department so troubled, and with so much tension between white officers and black residents, that the city council finally decided to disband it. Everyone in the Jennings police department was fired.

That was three years ago. One of the officers who worked in that department, and lost his job along with everyone else, was a young man named Darren Wilson.

Police faced a series of lawsuits for using unnecessary force. The Jennings department also had a corruption problem.

Some of the Jennings officers reapplied for their jobs, but Wilson got a job in the police department in the nearby city of Ferguson.

Darren Wilson’s girlfriend, Ferguson police officer Barbara Spradling, is a member of the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, which calls itself the Traditional American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (TAKKKK).

The Missouri chapter of the Klu Klux Klan has set up a
fund for Officer Darren Wilson. An email circulated by the group calls Brown a “black thug” and the officer who killed him a hero.

Underground America Inc. (
UNI) broke the news – because the US press is in a feeding frenzy.

According to CNN: Darren Wilson and Barbara Spradling were married in November and are expecting a child.

Back in the '60's and '70's the FBI disrupted, infiltrated, arrested and shut down the Ku Klux Klan and the Mafia. I know because I watched it on TV. The Klan disappeared, smaller groups like the Nazi-Lowriders and the punk-rock skin-heads sprung up in their place but never attracted much attention or much of a following. The Mafia fell off, leaving petty crimes, drug dealing and prostitution to local gangs.

On the surface it appeared that the Klan and the Mafia were defeated. Unfortunately, things are never what they seem.

White supremacist groups take many different forms. The Skinheads are street gangs, named for their shaved heads they use as an identifier. The Aryan Brotherhood exists as a gang in many prisons across the country. There are also many white sympathizers who may not officially belong to a white supremacist group, but who hold and support the same beliefs.

There are several watchdog organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League that track the size and activities of these groups.

In reality, many members of your local police, sheriffs, border patrol already belong to the Ku Klux Klan. And the Mafia merged with the CIA and became today's drug cartels...   

After years of reforms and lawsuits, one thing is perfectly clear- our politicians are only interested in training a brutal police force. And they have no interest in "protecting and serving" our families or our communities.

Speak Truth to Power. Join the Fight -DONATE-

The case will be prosecuted in Columbia County in north Florida.

Driver and Moran are being held in Union County jail. Newcomb is in Alachua County Jail with bond set at $750,000.

Frank Ancona, imperial wizard of the KKK group to which the three men were said to belong, did not confirm or deny their membership.

"We at the TAK do not in any way condone, tolerate, or support any type of illegal activity in our organization and because of this we would stand by any of our members pending a decision by a court of law, not a decision of the court of media or public opinion," Ancona said.

Associated Press writer Jennifer Kay in Miami contributed to this report. Fineout reported from Tallahassee. 

Their first attempt to find and kill the inmate failed, and the informant recorded a conversation with Driver to confirm he still wanted him dead.

"Do you want this guy terminated?" the informant asked.

"Yes sir," Driver replied, according to the affidavit.

In March, the FBI gave the informant a burner cellphone with a doctored photograph that appeared to show the inmate had been fatally shot. The informant showed all three men the photograph and recorded their jubilant reactions.

Moran, who they men referred to as "Sarge," was smiling when he saw the photograph that depicted the inmate had been murdered, according to the informant.

Driver smiled, nodded his head ... and shook the (informant's) hand in gratitude, according to the affidavit.

Bondi said and corrections department officials were quick to condemn the suspects' alleged actions, but the incident highlights an ongoing stream of high-profile problems in Florida's prison system. 

The mayor’s heightened emotion on Friday marked a stark contrast to the image of calm and control that she projected at City Hall last week after the sudden departure of Chief Sean Whent. Schaaf replaced Whent with interim Chief Ben Fairow, who she had not fully vetted and wound up firing after six days.

Several city officials were angry that the mayor had left them in the dark about Whent’s apparent ouster. Schaaf initially said the chief had resigned for personal reasons, but indicated Friday that she cannot fully disclose what happened because of a state law that guarantees confidentiality for police personnel files.

“I take ownership of my mistakes,” the mayor said Friday. “I hope I have been clear in what my intentions are.”

Meanwhile, the mayor has set her sights on significantly changing the department — ending what she says is a disgusting frat culture, even as the department has been under federal oversight for the last 13 years.

“We have a department with almost no women, no LGBT people, and a dramatic underrepresentation of people of color,” Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan told The Chronicle. She is pushing for reforms that would require Oakland’s police force to rethink its hiring and recruiting strategies.

Indeed, many of the people caught up in recent disciplinary cases, including the sexual misconduct case involving a teenage sex worker, are rookie officers who were hired after 2013.

Over the past three years, Mayors Jean Quan and Libby Schaaf have made an aggressive push to boost the city’s police force, and Schaaf, in particular, established herself as a stalwart both for Whent and for the rank and file.

But with additional scandals bubbling up on what seems like a daily basis, she has struggled to restore public trust in the police force she worked so hard to build up.

“I think the community’s faith is completely destroyed in that department,” said Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods.

“This cannot go on,” said civil rights attorney Jim Chanin, who on Wednesday announced that he and fellow lawyer John Burris may ask a federal judge to intervene in hiring and recruitment for Oakland’s beleaguered department.

Yet others are confident that Schaaf will find a reformer from outside who can whip the force into shape.

“I think she can find someone who is really ruthless about instituting reforms of these kinds of things,” said Peter Keane, a former San Francisco police commissioner and law professor at Golden Gate University.

But that person probably has to come from another city, he cautioned. “You can’t do any of this stuff with an internal candidate.”

Chronicle staff writers Erin Allday and Demian Bulwa contributed to this report.

Rachel Swan, Phil Matier and Andrew Ross are
San Francisco Chronicle staff writers. 

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