Newly Hired Lafayette Police Officer Fired
(IN) The Lafayette Police Department was alerted through social media that they had just hired a Neo-Nazi into their police force. Officer Joseph Zacharek was hired in June of this year, which meant he was probably still on probation. He was outed on Twitter by the anti-fascist account, Sound the Alarm (@Ghosts_of_Past). Sound the Alarm discovered that Zacharek had posted on Iron Maiden which is a Neo-Nazi forum that is no longer in existence.
Some of Zacharek’s comments include the following. “A country that allow(sic) any white immigration while denying any lesser races is the most ideal and lasting solution.” He talked about having his eyes opened to the “diseased culture of blacks and progressives.” And that he has realized that he is “fully NatSoc” which is saying he has decided he is a Nazi. He also expresses regret for “previously fool(sic) himself into believing all races are equal.”
Police Perform Poor Background Checks
According to KIRO7.com, Zacharek was “unemployed less than 24 hours after his department was notified about the officer’s involvement in a neo-Nazi online chat forum.” While we commend the Lafayette Police Department on their quick action, we have to wonder how their background check missed this information to begin with. Okay, we don’t wonder, we know how it happened.
The truth is, background checks on new recruits, by law enforcement agencies, are poorly done. They go through a set process; run a criminal history, submit fingerprints to see if the person has ever been arrested, get some references, and so on. That misses quite a bit. Yes, they checked his social media accounts but those would be your standard accounts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… They do not have social media specialists who know how to look for the problem platforms that promote hate groups and cults, which tend to be low key and harder to find.
Most people think that law enforcement would have the best background checks because they have people who are trained to research individuals. The thing is, those people are officers and they are researching criminals or possible criminals. They are not spending their time working for the Personnel departments.
Failure on the Part of Law Enforcement
This is a major failure on the part of law enforcement agencies. We understand that they are constrained by budgets but they are also constrained by their own bias against anything that is not considered law enforcement. They ignore, what tends to be civilian areas of work such as Personnel departments, even when it includes something as serious as background checks on new recruits. That’s a huge problem. By its very nature, law enforcement attracts people who want to subjugate those they consider to be inferior. Law enforcement is a place where people like that can get the power they crave to abuse those they hate.
RevealNews.org conducted an investigation and wrote an article on police officers involved in hate groups. According to the article, “Hundreds of active-duty and retired law enforcement officers from across the United States are members of Confederate, anti-Islam, misogynistic or anti-government militia groups on Facebook, a Reveal investigation has found.” This does not surprise me in the least. Not only do people who have these initial beliefs gravitate to the law enforcement field, but they actively work to sway the opinion of their co-workers.
If a person is able to hide his or her hate long enough and becomes a senior officer, quite frequently they are also used as instructors for new recruits. This gives them added opportunities to infect the new officers with their hate culture.
Current Day Nazi & Hate Group Hunters
Sound the Alarm did an excellent job in finding Joseph Zacharek’s fascist beliefs and they are not the only ones out there doing this type of research. What we need is a database that lists these individuals along with detailed information found on them, including screenshots, so that law enforcement has at least one easy place to go to research known individuals. It won’t solve the problem. There will still be those who haven’t been caught and even more who have never openly expressed their beliefs who definitely believe in some form of hatred, but it would at least stop some of the ones who have had their hatred captured and immortalized on the internet, from becoming law enforcement officers.