Felony case dropped by Chesterfield amid white nationalist investigation

Chesterfield police investigating school resource officer’s possible ties to white nationalist group

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The Chesterfield Police Department is investigating allegations of a school resource officers affiliations to a white nationalist group.

Chesterfield Police Chief Col. Jeffrey Katz wrote in a statement, “I’m aware of alleged online activities of one of our officers & committed to determining if accurate. There’s absolutely NO PLACE for intolerant behavior in public service & we will not accept affiliations which even remotely lend themselves to predispositions of bias. Period."

The officer has been accused of being involved with Identity Evropa, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In response to comments on Facebook, Col. Katz confirmed the officer was immediately “removed from his access to children,” as the investigation continues. Katz later confirmed the officer has been suspended.

I’m aware of alleged online activities of one of our officers & committed to determining if accurate. There’s absolutely...

Posted by Chesterfield County Police Chief, Col. Jeffrey S. Katz on Monday, March 18, 2019

Chesterfield Commonwealth’s Attorney said on social media that he has dropped a felony case where the resource officer in question was the lead officer on the case.

“I personally ran a search of the suspended officer’s pending felony cases this morning, and my chief deputy instructed our prosecutors to flag all of his cases for immediate supervisory review. Perhaps because of his most recent assignment as a school resource officer, there is only one pending felony prosecution on which he is the primary officer. We’ve decided to drop that case, and the prosecutor handling it is notifying the defendant’s attorney of our decision today. We are also currently reviewing the officer’s closed cases for any signs of impropriety," Scott Miles, Chesterfield Commonwealth’s Attorney, said in a statement on social media.

Miles has also commended the police chief’s quick response to the allegations.

"Today, Chief Katz reaffirmed that there is no place for bigotry in public service. I couldn't agree more, and I'm...

Posted by Scott Miles for Chesterfield Commonwealth’s Attorney 2019 on Monday, March 18, 2019

“Identity Evropa members insist they’re not racist, but ‘identitarians’ who are interested in preserving Western culture,” the SPLC says.

The group owes its style and ideology to the European identitarian movement.

According to information on the SPLC website, Indentity Evropa was founded in 2016 by Iraq war veteran Nathan Damigo, and has always been conscious of its branding.

“The organization has a simplistic and replicable logo, a teal triangle with three lines that join in the middle,” the SPLC says. “The group’s name recognition has been built by distributing flyers around college campuses printed with images of classical European statues and phrases like ‘Our Future Belongs to Us’ and ‘Keep Your Diversity We Want Identity.’”

The SPLC says the group uses “meme-able aesthetics” to lure in young people and then encourages them to become activists on college campuses, which Damigo has described as “the epicenter of Cultural Marxism in America.”

“The organization’s overarching goal - implemented through their #ProjectSiege campus flyering operation, banner drops broadcast over social media, demonstrations and “open dialogue” campaigns - is “taking up space” with their ideas and imagery in the hopes of eventually, through the sheer force of repetition, mainstreaming their ideology," the SPLC website says.

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