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Tag: KKK

FBI Spied on Civil Rights Group Over Suspected ‘Conspiracy’ to Deny KKK of ‘Rights’

KKK, via Southern Poverty Law Center.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI investigated a popular civil rights group in 2016 because agents believed the left-wing group may have been involved in a “conspiracy” to deny the “rights” of the KKK and other white supremacists, according to records obtained by the Guardian.

The records indicate that the FBI launched a “domestic terrorism” investigation into By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) after one of its members were stabbed at a white supremacist rally in June 2016.

The FBI cast the KKK as victims and labeled the activists as “extremists,” downplaying the Klan as a group “that some perceived to be supportive of a white supremacist agenda.”

The bureau considered BAMN a potential terrorism threat because of the group’s advocacy against “police brutality” and “rape and sexual assault.”

The FBI’s 46-page report ignored “100 years of Klan terrorism that has killed thousands of Americans and continues using violence right up to the present day,” said Mike German, a former FBI agent and far-right expert who examined the records for the Guardian. “This description of the KKK should be an embarrassment to FBI leadership.”

The report did not conclude that BAMN violated laws.

“It’s clear the FBI dropped the investigation having no evidence of wrongdoing. It never should have been opened in the first place,” Shanta Driver, BAMN’s national chair, said.

The FBI did not comment for the story.

New Legislation Will Help Prosecutors Bring Justice to Civil Rights-Era Killings

Martin Luther King Jr.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Prosecutors have struggled for decades to bring justice to victims of civil rights-era killings because the decades-old FBI records are often redacted.

That could soon change after President Trump signed a bill Tuesday to allow the FBI to release unredacted documents related to the unsolved cases.

The legislation was set in motion by dozens of students at Highstown High School in New Jersey.

One of the students, who is now at the University of Pennsylvania, told the Clarion Ledger the bill is a reminder “that even if justice is long delayed, it does not have to mean that justice is denied.”

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, a co-sponsor of the bill, said the records are important for the victims’ families and the communities.

“An incredible level of healing and reconciliation can accompany knowledge,” he said. “Given the age of these cases and the fact it is highly unlikely that these cases could be resurrected, this is the way to get that healing and reconciliation.”

The students used the JFK Records Collection Act of 1992 as a model for what they called the “Cold Case Records Collection Act of 2017,” which would create an independent review board to coordinate the release of classified records on civil rights killings.

Many of the killings are detailed in FBI files that remain largely redacted. They include the KKK’s 1964 killing of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner and the 1959 lynching of Mack Charles Parker.

FBI records on the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. also contain redactions.

Activists also were calling on redacted files relating to the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X.

Civil rights lawyers said the largely secret files make it difficult to solve cold cases.

FBI: Louisiana Governor in 1960s Gave KKK Money to Quell Racial Violence

KKK members.

KKK members.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Louisiana’s governor in the mid-1960s doled out privately raised money to Ku Klux Klan members in hopes of avoiding racial violence, FBI records show.

The Advocate reports that Klan members were promised money after the 1964 gubernatorial election in exchange for peace.

FBI agents believed that Gov. John J. McKeithen, who received campaign donation from the Klan, was behind the payments.

It’s unclear whether McKeithen’s strategy worked. Federal agencies note that there were at least a half-dozen Klan-related homicides, scores of beatings and dozens of fire bombings in central Louisiana between 1964 and 1969.

McKeithen fell out of favor of the Klan after he began working on pro-civil rights efforts.

FBI: Reputed Klansman Planned to Attack Muslims with Mobile, Radiation-Spewing Weapon

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A reputed Klansman from Saratoga County in New York believed he was capable of making a mobile device that would decimate Muslim towns with radiation.

Unbeknownst to him, he unraveled his plans to FBI agents and a KKK leader who was working with the bureau, The Times Union reports. 

The details were released Wednesday during a federal trial.

The case is expected to go to the jury as early as this week.

Crawford was arrested June 18, 2013. A co-defendant has already pleaded guilty.

Speaking to agents, Crawford bragged about the weapon’s capabilities.

“This could kill whole cities in a night — silently,” Crawford told the agents. “It would be weeks before anybody would have any inkling that anything was wrong and they’d probably drop dead in their beds.”

Other Stories of Interest

FBI: Fire Not Intentionally Set in Church Previously Burned by KKK

greeleyville_scBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Authorities were immediately suspicious when fire broke out inside a black church that the KKK had burned down in South Carolina 20 years ago.

After all, the fire came amid a string of suspicious fires at black churches following the shooting at Charleston’s historic African Methodist Episcopal Church less than a week earlier.

But the Associated Press reports that the FBI does not believe the fire was the work of an arsonist, according to an agent who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The fire broke out Tuesday evening as storms passed over the area, gutting the church.

Two KKK members pleaded guilty to burning the same church in 1995.

Flood Wipes Out Significant Portion of FBI Documents on Civil Rights, KKK

FBI photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A flood has wiped out a good portion of the FBI’s documents on the civil rights era.

IO9 reports the discovery was made recently after a professor had requested documents related to the Ku Klux Klan.

Those documents – and many more – were destroyed when the FBI’s archives in Alexandria, Va., were flooded.

Hundreds of thousands of pages of other documents were destroyed. They include 41 volumes on the National Negro Labor Council, 23 volumes on Claude Lightfoot, 19 volumes on the Nation of Islam and eight volumes on Detroit’s civil rights issues.

The professor, Trevor Griffey, wrote in his blog:

A more important question, however, is: why are these archives in the possession of the FBI at all? Why does the FBI continue to retain millions of pages of historically significant files, many of which are over 50 years old, that have no relevance to its contemporary law enforcement mission? Why have these files not already been transferred to the National Archives?

Many of the historically significant files destroyed in the Virginia flooding included a series of files that were supposed to have been transferred to the National Archives during George W. Bush’s second term….Almost ten years later, these files should not still be in the FBI’s possession.

Other files of major significance to the study of racial justice, the left, and U.S. foreign policy— particularly the FBI’s 105 series files, which include hundreds of thousands of pages of files on the Black Panther Party— remain in the FBI’s possession and decades away from ever being declassified or transferred to the National Archives.

These and other historically significant files that sit in secret FBI warehouses are vulnerable to more than just flooding. Decades-old standards for determining historical significance that tend to treat local history as unimportant, combined with wide latitude granted to FBI records management staff, have resulted in tragic and reckless destruction of many historically significant files.

Two Florida Cops Accused of Being KKK Members Were Forced to Step Down

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Florida police officers are without a job after a confidential FBI report showed they were members of a local branch of the KKK, the Daily Mail reports.

Fruitland Park Police dismissed Officer George Hunnewell, while Deputy Chief David Borst, 49, resigned. Borst also was the city’s fire chief.

While Fruitland Police Chief Terry Isaacs acknowledged it’s not against the law to be in the KKK, he said the allegations affect the officers’ credibility.

Isaacs launched an internal investigation Friday.

‘I’ve read the report, and it’s convincing,’ Isaacs said of the FBI report.

Despite Popular Belief, Mobster Didn’t Help Solve 1964 Killings of 3 Civil Rights Workers

istock photo

By Jerry Mitchell
The Clarion-Ledger

No matter where I speak about the Ku Klux Klan’s 1964 killings of three civil rights workers, I inevitably get asked this question: Did the Mafia really help the FBI solve the case?

The people who ask that question have usually heard some version of this story: Desperate to solve the case involving the missing trio, the FBI enlisted their informant, mobster Gregory Scarpa Jr., to solve the case. Scarpa shoved a gun down a Klansman’s throat and got him to confess where the trio’s bodies were buried, and in so doing, the grateful FBI gave this one-time member of the Colombo family a $30,000 reward.

The truth? The FBI did get help from a mobster, but in an entirely different case — the KKK’s June 10, 1966, fatal firebombing of NAACP leader Vernon Dahmer Sr. in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

I’ll be the first to admit this story of Scarpa’s supposed involvement in the June 21, 1964, killings of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner has appeared online and in newspapers for decades.

But it’s simply the wrong case because the details Scarpa shared about his night in Mississippi match up with the Dahmer case. And if that weren’t enough proof, FBI files confirm that Scarpa was brought in to help the FBI in the Dahmer investigation.

To read more, click here.