A disturbing report published by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Wednesday highlights the extent to which political extremism has penetrated parts of civilian and military leadership.
The report is based on an Oath Keepers membership list that was published by the non-profit journalist collective Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets). The Oath Keepers is a far-right, anti-government extremist group which played a key role in the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol.
While combing the Oath Keepers’ membership database, the ADL found 80 individuals across the country who, as of August 8, 2022, either held or were running for public office. The ADL identified 373 individuals believed to be currently serving in law enforcement. These include ten chiefs of police and eleven sheriffs. Another 1,100 people in the database are retired law enforcement officials. According to the report, 117 currently serve in the U.S. military.
Texas had the largest amount of individuals in the database, while New York had the largest amount in law enforcement.
These were the stats for California, as provided by the ADL:
- Total Number of Oath Keepers Signups in the State: 3077
- Elected Officials: 4
- Law Enforcement: 24
- Military: 12
- First Responders: 9
One of the law enforcement officers who appeared in the database is a sergeant with the Anaheim Police Department. That sergeant says he did not renew his membership. The ADL cautioned that “some individuals in the Oath Keepers database may have initially joined because they were sold a watered-down version of the group, and some may have disavowed the group since signing up.”
Another individual on the roster is a recently retired teacher in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District. According to the ADL, this individual wrote that they were “willing to help in whatever way necessary to protect our country.”
As California County News reported last year, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco was once a member of the Oath Keepers, but is no longer a part of the organization.
You can read the full report from the ADL, which includes sign-up stats for each state, here.