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San Diego Police Department’s LACK of Response to Extremism and White Supremacy Within Its Ranks

 

May 14, 2021

Dear Chief Nisleit:

The January 6, 2021 storming of the United States Capitol building by Americans was a flashpoint moment that further highlighted a reality that many military and law enforcement leaders ignore, refuse to acknowledge, or turn a blind eye too, which is the long history of white supremacist ideology within the rank and file of our military and first responder communities. 

On April 23, 2021 ABC News reported that of the four hundred (400) suspects arrested up to that point for their participation in the January 6, 2021 assault on the capital building fifty-two (52) were active or retired military, law enforcement, or government service employees. This accounts for a range between twenty percent (20%) and twenty-five percent (25%) of the total arrests up to that date. 

This realization coupled with the recently released additional details from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s report that outlined the attempts of white supremacist to infiltrate the United States military and local law enforcement, to further their racist agendas, necessitated that the NAACP San Diego Branch take steps to determine how these known elements are being identified and rooted out of the San Diego Police Department. Hence, the San Diego branch of the NAACP submitted a Public Request Act on April 21, 2021 asking for among other items:

  1. Any and all documents which discuss plans, actions or other discussions on how to identify and root out extremism and White supremacist views within the Police Department. 
  2. Any and all documents which discuss the existence of extremism and White supremacist views within the Police Department, including past reports.

The NAACP San Diego branch was beyond disappointed to receive the responses that no such documents existed. That is indicative of no formal attempt being made by the leadership of the San Diego Police Department to identify if elements of white supremacy exist in the San Diego Police Department. This is quite troubling due to the recent attack on our nation’s capital and the many other incidents wherein local law enforcement appears to be aligned with or sympathetic to white supremacist groups.

However, the NAACP San Diego branch sees this as an opportunity for the San Diego Chief of Police to exhibit true leadership and confront the possible existence of these elements in the San Diego Police Department. 

The NAACP San Diego branch calls upon the San Diego Chief of Police to do the following:

  1. Establish a committee and or taskforce to investigate the possible existence of white supremacy ideology or sympathy and or racist views by officers and or personnel of the San Diego Police Department. 
  2. Create a formal policy denouncing white supremacy ideology and forbidding the exhibiting of related symbols on San Diego city property, equipment and on the person of officers or other personnel while they are working in their capacity as a San Diego Police Department officer or other personnel. 
  3. Promote the utilization of an anonymous email or phone line for officers and or other San Diego Police Department Personnel to report white supremacist ideology and or other racially discriminatory activity to San Diego Police Department leadership.
  4. Train San Diego Police Department personnel on how to identify, receive and effectively investigate complaints regarding white supremacy ideology and or racism. 
  5. Ensure all complaints/reports regarding white supremacist ideology or sympathy and racist views in general are investigated thoroughly and reviewed by the established committee and or taskforce described herein. 

The NAACP San Diego branch further calls upon the San Diego Chief of Police to make a public statement once the committee or taskforce is created and to establish a timeline when the initial finding of the taskforce can be presented to the public. 

The NAACP San Diego branch hopes that the San Diego Chief of Police takes this call to action seriously, because the threat presented by these elements in local law enforcement is grave and places at risk the lives of individuals that our officers have sworn to protect and serve. 

Sincerely,

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Donte T. Wyatt, Esq., Legal Redress Committee
NAACP San Diego Branch

Criminal Justice Committee
NAACP San Diego Branch

PO Box 152086
San Diego CA 92195

(619) 431-1633 Phone/Text
info@sandiegonaacp.org
www.sandiegonaacp.org

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