An Oklahoma police chief, who knew of an applicant’s links to white supremacist groups, defended his decision to hire him as a reserve officer anyway.
Christopher Watson, the police chief of Achille, Okla., a small town with a population of about 500 on the northern Texas border, claimed Bart Alsbrook, the man he hired, wanted to break away from skinhead groups he admitted belonging to.
Alsbrook was the the coordinator for Blood & Honor, a white supremacy group the Southern Poverty Law Center calls an international coalition of racist gangs, reported TV station KXII.
“He was involved in some kind of group (in the past), and wanted out,” explained Watson. “And the only way he figured he could get out would be to move far away.”
The station previously reported it had discovered Alsbrook was connected to ISD Records and NS-88 videos, websites that sell memorabilia appealing to skinheads.
When confronted with the allegation, Alsbrook claimed skinheads stole his wallet during a concert in the 1990s and perpetrated identity theft.
“In the two years that I have known him, he has done nothing but contribute,” vouched Watson.
In August 2017, Alsbrook was named interim police chief of Colbert, a town near Achille, but resigned just a week later after admitting links to neo-Nazi organizations.
Watson says the police department does not tolerate racism in any form.
“None. None, because that is an ignorant way of thinking,” said Watson. “So there would be no tolerance of that.”