June 30, 2011

A Note On Richard Poplawski

Yes, they found him guilty. Yes, he killed those three police officers. And yes, he deserves to be punished for it.

All these things are true.

Know what else is true?

He was a right wing extremist, a right wing terrorist. A right wing domestic terrorist.

From the Trib in 2009:
A secret U.S. Department of Homeland Security report on "right-wing extremism" mentions by name only one potential domestic terrorist: accused cop killer Richard A. Poplawski.

The report was finished by Homeland Security's Extremism and Radicalization Branch and the FBI on April 7 — three days after the Stanton Heights gunfight during which Poplawski allegedly killed three police officers, Eric G. Kelly, 41; Stephen J. Mayhle, 29; and Paul J. Sciullo II, 36.

The report was intended only for law enforcement leaders, but the Tribune-Review was able to obtain a copy. It paints a disturbing picture of the rise of American hate-based groups that reject governmental authority in an era of foreclosures, unemployment and dwindling credit.

The report cites Poplawski, 22, as an example of "white supremacist lone wolves" or "small terrorist cells" inflamed by the possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the recent election of America's first black president.
From that DHS report:
(U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses that a number of economic and political factors are driving a resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization activity. Despite similarities to the climate of the 1990s, the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years. In addition, the historical election of an African American president and the prospect of policy changes are proving to be a driving force for rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization.

— (U) A recent example of the potential violence associated with a rise in rightwing extremism may be found in the shooting deaths of three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 4 April 2009. The alleged gunman’s reaction reportedly was influenced by his racist ideology and belief in antigovernment conspiracy theories related to gun confiscations, citizen detention camps, and a Jewish-controlled “one world government.”
Don't ever let them tell you there's no such thing as a right wing domestic terrorist.


CSI without Dead Bodies said...

The incident gives the wrong impression of Stanton Heights where I live. Most progressives would like living there.

Maria said...

I wouldn't worry that anyone got a particularly bad impression of Stanton Heights from this. We know Officer Kelly lived there too. That's the thing with "lone wolves" or single-cells -- they might be anywhere including next door to you or me no matter where we might live -- as opposed to if he were a militia or Klan member where we might think he'd live in certain neighborhoods only.

Maria said...


Hells Yes! I think this has been lost in all the recent discussion. Thanks for posting this.

CSI without Dead Bodies said...

Yes Dave thanks. It puts an important perspective on everythong.

High Lord Inquisitor and Factchecker of 2PJ. said...

I guess you join the police unions in supporting laws that prevent people from filming the police since that may expose actions of Law Enforcement that the public does not understand is necessary and is not police corruption and misconduct.

Violating Policemen rights by filming them leads to anti-police sentiments that caused Poplawski actions.

Will you embrace the new tone and shut up about Jordan Miles and other so-called examples of police corruption and misconduct?

EdHeath said...

HTTT - a search of the DHS pdf linked from the post found no results for the words "camera", "film" or "video", much less any support for you statement "Violating Policemen rights by filming them leads to anti-police sentiments that caused Poplawski actions". "caused"? You are just making that up, aren't you, or at best repeating what some tin foil hat wearing extremist said.

Mind you, if you were to ask whether I support police cars having video cameras that are on whenever the car is in use, and that can *not* be turned off by the officers, I would say that I am. If you ask whether the fact that unions don't want them makes me change my mind, I will say it does not. Not that I have anything in particular against the police union or the unions in general, but on this matter I think the interests of the public outweigh the concerns of the union.

I suppose you support taking the vote away from women, African Americans or anyone who does not own a significant amount of property or have a significant income, just like in the early days of the republic. Because that fits the founding fathers idea of democracy.

High Lord Inquisitor and Factchecker of 2PJ. said...

Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police.

"You have 960,000 police officers in this country, and millions of contacts between those officers and citizens. I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report," Pasco says. "Letting people record police officers is an extreme and intrusive response to a problem that’s so rare it might as well not exist. It would be like saying we should do away with DNA evidence because there’s a one in a billion chance that it could be wrong. At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in our authority figures."
whether citizens should be arrested and sent to prison for recording cops. I mention Michael Allison’s case to Pasco, and ask if he supports the Illinois law.

"I don’t know anything about that case, but generally it sounds like a sensible law and a sensible punishment," Pasco says. "Police officers don’t check their civil rights at the station house door."

High Lord Inquisitor and Factchecker of 2PJ. said...

Ed, Guess this Black Police Chief is a tin foil hat wearing extremist.
Houston Police Chief: Citizen Recordings of Violent, Thuggish Police Officers May Lead to Violent, Thuggish Behavior Against Police Officers
Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland went on the defensive Thursday during a meeting with local journalists, saying officers have made recent traffic stops in which residents leave their vehicles to take pictures or shoot video — encounters he says could endanger officers and that have increased following the release of the Chad Holley beating footage.

“Officers are telling me that they’re being provoked,” the chief said. “Even when they try to write a simple traffic ticket, people are jumping out with cell phone cameras scanning their badge numbers and their nametags. And I’ve asked them to remain calm and treat people with respect and dignity.”

McClelland said he is concerned that an intensifying anti-police sentiment in the community could increase negative interactions between Houston Police Department officers and residents.

“This rhetoric can give someone a free pass to try to assault a police officer or kill a police officer, and I’m not going to allow that,” he said. “My officers should be able to go out here and work in the neighborhoods and keep this city safe without fear and without hesitation.”

Ol' Froth said...

Heir, I think you are confusing citizens filming encounters in public, which is perfectly legal, to people going out of their way and recording in such a manner that it interferes with police trying to do their jobs. Personally, I don't care if someone wants to film me while I'm working. I DO care if while I'm trying to deal with a situation someone gets so close in that they restrict my actions or ability to do my job.

Frankly, if I'm dealing with a nitwit and you want to get close enough to record my name and badge number, all you are doing is putting yourself in close proximity to the nitwit, who could just as easily turn on you. You want to stand off to the side and record the encounter? Go right ahead, just don't get in the way. You want my name and badge number? I'll cheerfully give it to you. Also, if you post your video, please include ALL of it, and do not edit it in order to create a false impression.

High Lord Inquisitor and Factchecker of 2PJ. said...

Ol' Froth
go to

for examples of citizens filming encounters in public, which is perfectly legal and getting arrested anyway.
Even when they are standing out to the way.

As for name and badge number, I noticed in this video, when she demand that she got arrested.

CSI without Dead Bodies said...

Heir I think you would like the video I took and posted in the first comment I made on this post.

High Lord Inquisitor and Factchecker of 2PJ. said...

CSI Odd you would blame Glenn Beck for the police shootings.

In the case of Emily Good, Beck defended the Police for arresting her.

Ol' Froth said...

Heir, am I saying that there are some police officers who do wrong things? No I am not. The fact that someone was illegally arrested for doing something illegal doesn't change the fact that I don't care if you video tape me in public.

Ol' Froth said...

Grrr...that should be "illegally arrested for doing something legal."

EdHeath said...

httt, you said this "Violating Policemen rights by filming them leads to anti-police sentiments that caused Poplawski actions." You are making a connection between police unions objecting to police being filmed, negative public reactions to those objections and Richard Poplawski being so upset about that negative reaction that he shot and killed police officers who came to his doors. You know, I already said that I think having video cameras in police cars is a good idea, but your moronic rantings have more than halfway convinced me that maybe it isn't. I understand you want to break all public (and private) sector unions, and I guess bring back slavery, prohibit women from voting or working and only allow rich people to vote. As far as I can tell, you are happy that Poplawski killed the three police persons, since that is three less union members.

I wouldn’t call Chief McClelland a tin foil hat extremist, although I don’t know any more about him than what is in your link (“The Agitator”, on the other hand, might be a tin foil hat wearer). I disagree with what Chief McClelland said, but I have something of an understanding of why he said it. The world is a more complicated place than the black and white you want to paint it. But keep on making inflammatory and insulting remarks, it adds to the intellectual content of the discussion.