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Efforts to Weed Out Extremists in Law Enforcement Meet Resistance


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Efforts to Weed Out Extremists in Law Enforcement Meet Resistance

While Mr. Frazier’s Republican colleagues did not oppose the idea, they said they found it insufficient. State Representative Eric Lucero sought to add other organizations to the ban, including Al Qaeda, Al-Shabab and Hezbollah, along with members of anarchist, environmental and animal rights groups.

The proposed bill moved out of the House criminal justice reform committee on a straight party-line vote. Among the amendments, Mr. Frazier sought to preserve one clause focused on white supremacy.

“This is about building trust within the Black community, and a large part of that is addressing the issue of white supremacy,” he said.

In Oregon, Ms. Bynum said the bill was prompted by both the intense protests over the past year and earlier conflicts.

One of them was a prolonged episode involving a Portland policeman, Mark Kruger, who was off duty when he hung plaques honoring five Nazi-era German soldiers in a city park around the year 2000. A decade later, when they were exposed, a review board found that Mr. Kruger had brought “discredit and disgrace” to the police.

When Mr. Kruger countered that he was merely a history buff exercising his First Amendment rights and threatened to sue, the city settled, withdrawing the criticism while erasing his suspension with 80 hours of vacation plus $ 5,000.

After 26 years on the force, he retired as a captain in 2020, not long before Ms. Bynum began formulating the new law.

For Ms. Bynum, getting a statement of principle against extremism set into law would be an important first step. “Essentially, you have to move the ball,” she said.

Katie Benner contributed reporting.

Author: Neil MacFarquhar
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News


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