SPLC Releases Video to Help Law Enforcement Combat ‘Aryan’ Prison Gangs

When a gunman assassinated the head of Colorado’s prison system at his home last March 19, it provided a deadly example of the threat from white supremacist prison gangs.

The suspect in the case, 28-year-old Denver parolee Evan Ebel, was a member of 211 Crew, a particularly vicious regional white supremacist prison gang whose size has been estimated at somewhere between several hundred and a thousand members, all in Colorado.

Ebel was killed during a shootout with police after wounding a North Texas sheriff’s deputy and then crashing his car during a chase that reached speeds of over 100 mph. Police believe he may also have murdered a pizza delivery man, then stolen his uniform to use as a ruse to gain access to the home of Tom Clements, the Colorado prison official who was slain. He was the second 211 Crew member slain during a confrontation with police within a 13-month span.

Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center, publisher of Hatewatch, released a new training video intended to help correctional and law enforcement officers understand the structure of these gangs, their criminal enterprises and the signs, such as distinctive tattoos, that officers can use to identify members’ affiliations.

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, 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.

Two previous SPLC training videos, which can be seen here, examined the threat of racist skinheads and the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement.