Members of the Congressional Black Caucus met on Wednesday with the director of the FBI to discuss concerns over a bureau assessment that “black identity extremists” posed a threat to police officers.
Speaking with reporters after the meeting, Representative Cedric Richmond, chairman of the caucus, said the discussion went well and he praised FBI Director Christopher Wray’s leadership style as “transparent and fair.”
“It’s a breath of fresh air to talk to this director compared to our relationship with the Justice Department,” Richmond said. “With that, he’s the director, he’s not the agents, and we just have to always be very cautious and diligent about making sure that the people we represent all across the country, and all the citizens of the country, are treated fairly.”
Details from the FBI’s August 3 intelligence assessment, titled “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement Officers,” identifies Black Identity Extremists (BIEs) as black people who may carry out targeted, premeditated violent attacks against police in response to incidents of real or perceived excessive police violence against blacks.
The report stated the following:
- An increase in BIE violence began after the 2014 death of Mike Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and after the decision by a grand jury not to indict the officer.
- The FBI highlighted six attacks by alleged BIE members, including the August 2016 ambush of police officers in Dallas, Texas, by Micah Johnson, who shot 11 officers and killed five.
- Very few incidents of BIE targeted, premeditated violence toward police officers took place over the past 20 years before 2014. Before that, BIE violence was carried out in the 1960s and 1970s by groups such as the Black Liberation Army during and in response to the Civil Rights Movement.
- It is likely that perceptions of unjust treatment of blacks by police, and the perception that those police actions go unchallenged by law, will inspire more premeditated attacks against police over the next year.
Soon after the report was published, the Congressional Black Caucus, which has 49 members from both the House of Representatives and the Senate complained that the report was flawed because it conflates black political activists with dangerous domestic terrorist organizations that pose actual threats to law enforcement.”
On Wednesday, Richmond told reporters that labeling protesters as extremists “is very alarming” and “a mischaracterization.”
“We don’t want anybody to view Black Lives Matter and other organizations that protest as an extremist group or a domestic terrorist group,” he said.
The problem with what Richmond is doing is that he is not being truthful about the report and what it says. The report clearly makes a difference between peaceful protesters and those that intend to commit violence.
We believe that the Congressional Black Caucus absolutely knows that and it should be pointed out that it appears that the report itself has been taken off line for you to see that for yourself. Our original article did summarize the published report at the time.
Randy Sutton, a former Las Vegas Metropolitan Lieutenant, told Fox News that the FBI report makes official what he and others in police work have been observing in recent years.
“Nobody is saying anything negative about protests,” Sutton said, “Protesting is everyone’s right. This is about committing acts of violence. Many Black Lives Matter protests call for violence against police, with chants like ‘What do we want?’ and ‘Dead cops!’ It’s terrorism, and it’s no different than Islamic terrorism.”
Indeed, every cop and citizen knows the difference between a peaceful protest and evil preying on law enforcement officers. Last year, 28% of the suspects that killed a police officer did it for political reasons. That’s called terrorism in other countries but apparently some in Congress want to call that peaceful protests.
Robert Johnson is a 20 year veteran law enforcement officer currently working at a large metropolitan agency. His assignments have included narcotics, gangs and training. He joined Law Officer in 2017 as an Associate Editor.