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REVEALED: At least 400 members of law enforcement busted as members of extremist groups

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The Center for Investigative Reporting revealed Thursday that they were allowed to download the membership rolls of private Facebook groups. The results were that they found the members of extremist groups and police groups.

“We loaded those roughly 1 million names into a database and asked a simple question: How many people were members of at least one extremist group and at least one police group?” the report explained.

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There were 14,000 hits that surfaced, they said, but they looked at just a mere fraction of the list. That’s when they discovered almost 400 users currently employed as police officers, sheriffs, prison guards or retired law enforcement that were also members of extremist Facebook groups.

Their researchers then tried to join the groups to see what was being said, and it was outright shocking.

“Officers engaging in conduct that calls into question their ability to serve their communities without prejudice,” the report revealed. “More than 50 police departments took action or launched internal investigations after we called them with our findings.”

They explained that they believed the public should have access to the information and detailed it in their full report.

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“We started with a list of more than 1,200 extremist groups compiled by Megan Squire, a computer science professor at Elon University and leading expert on extremism on Facebook,” the report detailed their methodology. “Squire, who has been scouring Facebook for extremists for a couple of years, methodically works through the platform, searching for groups with names that denigrate people by race, religion, gender or sexuality or that contain code words used by extremist movements. And because Facebook recommends new groups based on what Squire searches for, she would find new groups that way, too. When we reviewed the groups, we removed some from the list because we did not believe they met the criteria.”

Los Angeles Police Sgt. John Valdez was one of the officers exposed as member of an extremist Facebook group. In 2013, Valdez was involved in a non-fatal shooting of two people.

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This only includes a small fraction of the 14,000 results they saw.

Read the full results and report at The Center for Investigative Reporting.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Florida teacher removed after bizarre rant about students not standing for the pledge

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Students were faced with a white-board rant in a classroom attacking anyone not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The moment went viral locally on Thursday after students posted Daniel Goodman‘s “inappropriate” message to students at First Coast High School in Duval County, Florida, The Atlanta Black Star reported.

“THINK: We had about a half million Americans die in our Civil War, which was largely to get rid of slavery. There are no longer separate water fountains and bathrooms in Jacksonville for ‘white’ and ‘colored,’ as Mr. Goodman remembers from the 1960?s. We had an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women the right to vote. We have had a Black president. The superintendent of Duval Schools is a Black woman. Mr. Fluent, our principal, replaced a Black man. Mr. Simmons, who now is a DC PS admninistrator.”

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Missouri official choose Dr. Seuss’ ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’ for swearing-in ceremony instead of ‘The Bible’

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A Missouri county official is being both celebrated and attacked after a decision to forgo The Bible for her swearing-in ceremony and opted for a copy of Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss.

The Friendly Atheist at Patheos captured the story, posting a photo of St. Louis City Councilmember Kelli Dunaway's children holding a copy of the book while she took her oath of office.

This was the scene last week at the STLCO government center. Democrats took back control of the council and @DunawayKelli was sworn in on a copy of “Oh the Places you’ll go” with her children❤️ so proud to be part of #TeamKelli pic.twitter.com/iJ1dxfZ1Zg

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Trump predicts New York Times will go out of business when he’s out of office

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In a permission tweet, President Donald Trump announced that his presidency is the only thing keeping the New York Times in business. Yet, somehow, they're also attacking him and lying about him.

"The New York Times will be out of business soon after I leave office, hopefully in 6 years. They have Zero credibility and are losing a fortune, even now, especially after their massive unfunded liability. I'm fairly certain they'll endorse me just to keep it all going!" he tweeted.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1163238629730373632

Since taking office, subscriptions for The Times have increased dramatically. According to an August report, The Times boasted a 4.7 million increase in subscribers for the second quarter. Their revenue growth was 5.2 percent. It certainly is a modest increase, but it's also an increase in an era when newspapers are struggling to survive.

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