By Mathew Seibert
POST FALLS, ID – A police instructor who taught 560 officers in recent years joined an extremist group and supported far-right movements, according to a Reuters article by Julia Hart and Alexandra Ulmer that revealed the extremist views of police officer Richard Whitehead.
Reuters also identified other possible alt-right police trainers.
The 25-year veteran in the sheriff’s department of Travis County, Texas, moved to Idaho to run for sheriff and teach his extremist “constitutional sheriff” philosophy, according to the Reuters piece.
Whitehead’s day job is to teach police officers around the U.S., about 560 officers and public safety workers.
In 2015, a Washington state training commission temporarily banned Whitehead from advertising courses on its website because of instructional materials that referred to a turban-wearing police officer as a “towel head.”
The Reuters article explained that a student complained about “offensive slurs” and “blatant misogyny” during Whitehead’s teachings.
Since his temporary ban from the training commission, Whitehead expanded his course materials that stirred the pot more with his transgender remarks, said Reuters, quoting Whitehead stating, “Suspect is a gender-fluid assigned-male-at-birth wearing non-gender-specific clothing born Caucasian but identifies as a mountain panda.”
Reportedly, Whitehead said such barbs are intended to push back against pressures on law enforcement to espouse left-wing views on gender or race.
Whitehead is just one of five police training officers who have been identified by Reuters as an extremist pushing the far-right’s agenda.
Hart and Ulmer explained that Reuters found one police officer trainer who attended the Trump rally in 2021 that ended in a riot. Two of the trainers have falsely asserted President Biden is a pedophile.
And, the writers said four have posted records of their past interactions with far-right extremist figures like “constitutional sheriff” leader David Clarke, Jr., and Proud Boys leader Joe Biggs.
Surprisingly, Whitehead and four of the other trainers have claimed their views are not extremist nor far-right.
However, Reuters investigators discovered Whitehead was listed in a database of members of the anti-government militia group known as the Oath Keepers, a group that focuses on the recruitment of police and military personnel who track extremism.
A Reuters reporter was given permission to attend a training Whitehead gave for police officers in Killeen, TX, where Whitehead referred to COVID-19 as the “China flu” and mocked transgender people.
Reuters disclosed his statements in a class that was about teaching officers “bulletproof” methods of documenting incidents on the job, and “not becoming susceptible to the winds of political correctness and appeasement.”