For years reports have circulated by the FBI that klan members have infiltrated the ranks of law enforcement. Add to that, many members of law enforcement are klan sympathizers. Well one Georgia cop has been outed for liking klan propaganda on facebook and has been placed on paid leave. Granted, what you like on social media is your own business, but if your biases can influence how you deal with the public than it is a problem.
Officer Tommy Long has been placed on suspension or paid leave after anti-fascists exposed his history of liking racist Facebook posts explicitly promoting the Ku Klux Klan. His leave is pending an internal investigation into any ties he might have with the violent white supremacist terror group after racist posts he allegedly liked on Facebook surfaced.
The Atlanta Anti-Fascists, a group that confronts and exposes white nationalists across America, outed Long in an article detailing his ties with the white supremacist group. The organization posted screenshots of posts that Long liked on the popular social media platform that promoted the KKK.
Chief of Police Larry Callahan told HuffPost Long admitted the Facebook page belonged to him, but either denied or claimed not to remember liking some of the KKK-related posts uncovered by Atlanta Antifascists. Although Long does not recall liking any of the posts, he is (or was) friends on Facebook with six accounts appearing to belong to two KKK members: Imperial Wizard Charles Geoffrey Denton (aka “Cole Thornton”), and Grand Dragon Justin Stephen Owens (aka Stephen Owens).
After news of his Facebook activity hit the fan, Long deactivated his account. He reactivated the account the following day with two less friends… the KKK members. His activity on the posts by the group remained.
“Are you upset about blm [Black Lives Matter] being in Georgia?” Owens, the KKK member, wrote in a Facebook post in July 2016. “You like to sit back and watch yet another city destroyed by these mongrels? Our state! Georgia with this crap going on! TAKE A STAND, SAVE OUR LAND, JOIN THE KLAN!…”
The United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was linked in that post. Long liked the post.
In December 2016, Owens posted a photo of a gold ring inscribed with the initials of the United Northern and Southern Knights and the blood drop cross symbol of the KKK. Long liked this post too.
Long appears to have a close, or at least warm, relationship with Denton. The pair have commented on each other’s posts over the years. When Long wrote on Facebook about the death of his friend late last month, Denton commented to express his condolences. In January 2017, Denton wrote on Facebook that he was “really tired of being called a racist” just because he is “in the Klan.”
The KKK are simply “separatists,” he wrote, who “believe all races should stick together, and not mix…”
The HuffPost does notate that the KKK has terrorized the United States and primarily the South for well over a century. KKK members have attacked, murdered and lynched black Americans.
About a month ago, two Spalding County jailers were fired after Atlanta Antifascists published their online comments expressing sympathy for Adolf Hitler and American neo-Nazism, AJC.com previously reported.
Long is the fourth Georgia law enforcement employee over the last month to face professional consequences after being exposed for their alleged ties to, or sympathies for, white supremacist groups.
In late August, a Georgia Department of Corrections employee resigned after an investigation into his alleged affiliation with the neo-Nazi group Vanguard America. Earlier last month, two detention officers for the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office were fired after online chat logs showed them expressing sympathy for Adolf Hitler and George Rockwell, the former leader of the American Nazi Party.
“The attractions of police work to white supremacists should be obvious, from opportunities to gather intelligence to furthering their agenda while wearing the badge,” Atlanta Antifascists told HuffPost in a statement. “The United Northern & Southern Knights seem especially keen on attracting police members.”
“We will always expose white supremacists within the police or the prison system as we encounter them.”