Urges Police to Treat Activists as Terrorists
In a document distributed earlier this year, a major law enforcement training group urged police departments to treat Black Lives Matter activists like terrorists who are plotting “extreme acts of violence.”
The document, sent by the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) to thousands of members of the association by email in October, calls Black Lives Matter and Antifa “revolutionary movements whose aims are to overthrow the U.S. government” and claims they are planning “extreme violence.”
The 176-page paper, entitled “Understanding Antifa and Urban Guerrilla Warfare,” was distributed after months of national protests and outrage following the death of George Floyd.
Critics of the document fear that the guide, which is used by small and medium-sized police departments across the country, will lead officers to act with force against activists.
Phillip Atiba Goff, a Yale professor of African-American studies and psychology and CEO of the Center for Policing Equity, said the new training materials may result in more violence. “I worry that it leads to people dying unnecessarily,” he told The Associated Press.
Harvey Hedden, the executive director of ILEETA, has defended the document and says it is representative of just one member’s perspective. He told AP it could amount to censorship to vet the claims in the document.
“There will always be differences of opinion on training issues but so long as the disagreements remain professional and not personal we do not censor these ideas,” he said. “I am willing to allow the trainer to evaluate the information themselves.”
According to the association’s website, ILEETA is committed to committed to the reduction of law enforcement risk through the enhancement of training for criminal justice practitioners.
The document alleges that the Black Lives Matter movement has “trained, dedicated snipers” around the country and coordinated leading up to and following the presidential election last month.
The guide also claims that activists who participated in protests over the summer are in reality “useful idiots” providing cover to “hard-core, terrorist trained troops” coordinating “extreme acts of violence.”
Sherice Nelson, assistant professor of political science at Southern University, discouraged the unsupported claims made in the guide. “This document is below the belt because of how much misinformation there is, how many conspiracy theories there are, how much violence it promotes and how many reasons it gives to justify dehumanizing people,” she told AP.