A research document being promoted by a law enforcement training group has sparked outrage for urging local police to treat Black Lives Matter activists as terrorists.
According to the Associated Press, the document distributed by the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association is “riddled” with misinformation and “inflammatory rhetoric.”
The distribution of the documents could help to spur on violence against people of color at the hands of local law enforcement.
The report, titled “Understanding Antifa and Urban Guerrilla Warfare” claims that BLM is “supposedly funded by China and that money is then donated to the Democratic Party.”
“Antifa and Black Lives Matter have no intentions to negotiate,” the document distributed by ILEETA reads. “These are revolutionary movements whose aims are to overthrow the U.S. government.”
On its website, ILEETA states that the group is “committed to the reduction of law enforcement risk through the enhancement of training for criminal justice practitioners,” and that they are “fully committed to the saving of lives through the development and delivery of high quality training.”
As most level-headed people already know, Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer.
The organization aims to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”
Black Lives Matter does not advocate violence.
“It’s stunning. It’s distressing in many ways. It’s untethered to reality,” said Goff, CEO of the Center for Policing Equity. “I worry that it leads to people dying unnecessarily.”
Still, the group’s executive director, Harvey Hedden, has defended the inflammatory materials, adding that fact-checking would amount to “censorship.”
“There will always be differences of opinion on training issues but so long as the disagreements remain professional and not personal we do not censor these ideas,” he said. “I am willing to allow the trainer to evaluate the information themselves.”
He added, “Just like law enforcement, I am afraid BLM has earned some of these criticisms and others might be overgeneralizations.”
President Donald Trump’s administration has been credited with emboldening far-right extremists and championing the overt hatred of people of color. ILEETA reckless rhetoric matters because of law enforcement’s long, complicated history of climbing into bed with white supremacist ideology.
In July, Trump sat down for an interview with CBS News’ Catherine Herridge, where he was asked: “Why are African Americans still dying at the hands of law enforcement?”
Trump quickly deflected. Yet again, choosing not to condemn white supremacy.
“And so are white people. So are white people,” Trump said in response. “What a terrible question to ask. So are white people. More white people by the way. More white people.”