Colbert, Oklahoma, interim police chief Bart Alsbrook is resigning after local news reporters linked him to two white supremacist organizations.
The websites for ISD Records and NS88 Videos, which both offer neo-Nazi materials, are registered to Alsbrook’s name and home address in internet domain records and public business records.
Alsbrook says he is not behind the pair of websites. Instead, he alleges that his name was used by members of the groups who bear him personal animus. But the just-appointed chief of the 1,140-person town is stepping down nonetheless.
“When we called him back to ask him about it, Alsbrook claimed a group of skinheads stole his wallet and began using his name after a fight at a heavy metal concert in the 1990s,” the KXII News 12 report said. The pair of websites were taken offline within two hours, after reporters called Alsbrook for comment, the report said.
There is no other person named Bart Alsbrook in the United States, the local news affiliate reported.
The former officer’s ties to white supremacist organizations date back to at least 2005, when the Southern Poverty Law Center identified him as the Texas state chapter leader for the race-hate group Blood And Honour.
Reporters from the Tulsa World “learned that Alsbrook’s name was also used to attempt to register the trademark ‘Blood Honour’ in 2005,” the paper wrote.
Colbert is a tiny community just north of the Texas border, but its civic life hasn’t exactly been sleepy in the past few years. Alsbrook’s predecessor atop the Colbert police force was fired in March over a dispute with other city leaders, who reportedly closed City Hall for the day once local journalists showed up asking questions about the termination. It was the second time in 18 months that Colbert’s elected leaders have ousted a police chief. Whenever Alsbrook’s replacement is named, he or she will be the fourth chief of police there in less than 2 years.
Alsbrook’s scandal is atypical in that he appears to be the owner of two race-hate sites. But police officers have been caught tossing prejudiced and bigoted comments around on social media frequently, and racist internet activity has brought down cops repeatedly in recent years.
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department chief of staff resigned in 2016 over his habit of forwarding racist emails. Officers in Ferguson, Missouri, routinely shared racist jokes, according to a Department of Justice investigation in the wake of Michael Brown’s death. A small-town police official in Louisiana was let go this summer after posting a racist meme on Facebook. Multiple officers have lost their jobs over similar communiques in Oakland, San Francisco, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale in the past few years.