Oregon cop busted for wearing right-wing militia slogan while on duty
Photo of Cpl. Joshua Spano. (Emily Cureton/Central Oregon Peacekeepers)

Oregon police are investigating one of their own over his apparent support for an anti-government extremist group.

Cpl. Joshua Spano, of Bend police, was photographed wearing a keychain reading "molon labe" -- which militant groups favor as a challenge to "come and take" their guns -- while arresting a community activist who's currently in a legal fight with the city over police records, and his social media accounts show similar support for the right-wing III Percent militia, reported Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The officer arrested Mike Satcher on Saturday on criminal trespassing charges as he volunteered providing food and showers to unhoused individuals, and the activist's Central Oregon Peacekeepers group circulated photos showing Spano's uniform during the arrest and screenshots from his personal media accounts showing imagery associated with anti-government groups.

One screenshot shows a leg tattoo of the Statue of Liberty holding a pistol and silencer, with the "molon labe" phrase, and the 2013 post was captioned, "Love my country, hate my government."

A 2017 post shows a collection of patches associated with the III Percenter militia, whose members have been charged in the Jan. 6 insurrection, and a notebook whose cover reads, "People To Kill."

Chief Mike Krantz, of Bend police, said the "molon labe" keychain was "inconsistent with the uniform," but told OPB he was unaware of Spano's social media activity.

"It's also alleged by several, I don't know who makes these determinations, that it somehow supports extremist ideologies," Krantz said. "There's no place in policing for extremism or violent ideology."

A California sheriff recently downplayed the links between two of his deputies, including the brother of actor Chris Pratty, and the III Percent militia.

"[The FBI] confirmed none of my employees are members of any extremist organizations," said Solano County Sheriff Thomas Ferrara.

But local activists there say Ferrara hasn't released any details about that investigation.

"I'm not comfortable with the sheriff's response," said Nimat Shakoor-Grantham, co-founder of Benicia Black Lives Matter. "(Ferrara) has proof that deputies in his office supported these groups in the past. You can take off the uniform but you can't take off the bias."