11/20/2013

SPLC releases video to help law enforcement combat ‘Aryan’ prison gangs

As part of its effort to protect law enforcement officers and communities from violent extremists, the SPLC has produced a training video that examines the threat of white supremacist prison gangs.

More than 60,000 officers will receive Understanding the Threat: Aryan Prison Gangs – free of charge – along with the law enforcement edition of the SPLC’s quarterly investigative journal, Intelligence Report, which is being released today.

The 15-minute video, designed to be shown to officers during roll call, also will be distributed to prison officials in all 50 states. Law enforcement and prison agencies can obtain additional free copies of the DVD by contacting the SPLC.

“Members of white supremacist prison gangs pose a very serious threat to correctional officers,” said SPLC chief investigator Joe Roy, a former homicide detective who appears in the video. “And because violent gang members also are active outside prison walls, they’re a danger to law enforcement officers on the streets.”

The video recounts the March 19 assassination of Colorado’s prison chief, apparently by a white supremacist prison gang member. The suspected gunman was later killed in a police shootout in Texas, but not before wounding a deputy and crashing his car during a chase. He was the second member of the 211 Crew prison gang to die in a confrontation with law enforcement within a span of 13 months.

The video, which features correctional and law enforcement officers from California, Ohio and Texas, examines some of the most dangerous white supremacist prison gangs in America, including the Aryan Brotherhood, whose members or associates are believed to have killed at least four police officers and five correctional officers since 1983. It also examines the structure of these gangs, their criminal enterprises and the signs, such as distinctive tattoos, that officers can use to identify members’ affiliations.

The DVD is the third training video produced by the SPLC. Previous videos have focused on antigovernment “sovereign citizens” and racist skinheads. The SPLC also offers free, in-person training for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to help them recognize and respond to the radical right and antigovernment extremists. This year, SPLC staffers trained more than 5,000 officers.