Officer terminated after investigation into ties to white nationalist group

Officer terminated after investigation into ties to white nationalist group
Daniel Morley was terminated after an investigation.

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The Chesterfield County Police Department says a school resource officer who was investigated for possible ties to a white nationalist group has been terminated.

Police say Daniel Morley was a school resource officer at L.C. Bird High School.

He was accused in March of being involved with Identity Evropa, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Online postings and activities attributed to this officer were reviewed, and once authenticated, the officer ... was administratively suspended,” police said in a statement on Friday.

Police say the investigation into Morley began after a tip from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“I can now confirm that the target of our investigation was indeed Mr. Morley, and today, I can confirm that his employment with Chesterfield County has been terminated,” Col. Jeffrey Katz said.

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.’”

Additional statement from Katz:

Policing in today’s polarized society is challenging. Successful policing requires relationships rooted in trust. While I will not get into specifics of this personnel matter, I want you to know that my decision to terminate Mr. Morley is predicated on the well-founded belief that his affiliation and online activities make it impossible for him to carry out his duties in a way that would contribute to the building of trust and the maintenance of legitimacy our police department shares with our supportive community.

Our community deserves to know the men and women of their police department respect and revere them – whoever they may be. It is true that Mr. Morley has a First Amendment Right to free speech and association. However, the views espoused by and attributed to Mr. Morley violate county and departmental policy and our organizational values; his continued employment is antithetical to the expectations of our personnel and those we serve.

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