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IREHR in Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting: “Rule change opens new path for ‘constitutional sheriff’ group to train Arizona law enforcement” – November 16, 2022

By November 16, 2022April 20th, 2023No Comments3 min read

IREHR’s research of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and Texas Commission on Law Enforcement was featured in the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting;

Author Isaac Stone Simonelli writes, “The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement received a warning ahead of the July training from the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR), an organization that tracks and counters racism, antisemitism, white supremacy and far-right movements.

The institute was concerned with CSPOA “co-sponsoring a nationwide tour” that included the now-deceased Robert David Steele, “an antisemitic QAnon conspiracist.” They also raised issue with Michael Peroutka, a former member of the neo-confederate, white nationalist group League of the South, speaking at the event, as well as Mack’s dissemination of a “long-discredited idea derived from the violently racist and antisemitic Posse Comitatus,” which claims a sheriff’s power is greater than the that of the U.S. Supreme Court or the president.

“While we support law enforcement officers understanding the U.S. Constitution, we are gravely concerned about law enforcement officers incorporating the dangerous ideas about policing practices espoused by these fundamentally anti-Constitutional, anti-democratic, and bigoted organizations,” wrote IREHR President and Executive Director Devin Burghart.”

IREHR’s Executive Director of Research, Chuck Tanner, was cited and quoted in the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting;

Isaac Stone Simonelli writes, “Hall’s interpretation of the U.S. Constitution is a “radical assault” on the role of the federal government and civil rights, revisiting the Reconstruction Era, according to Chuck Tanner, a researcher at IREHR. He explained that Hall interprets the Constitution in a way that “guts a federal capacity” to provide civil rights, enforce environmental protections and regulate businesses to ensure minimum levels of safety for employees.”

Simonelli continues on, “Mack, Hall and others who are aligned with the movement are not constitutionalist in the sense of having a sound legal approach to the U.S. Constitution, said Tanner. ‘They’re constitutionalist in the sense that that’s how they construct their nationalism.’”

IREHR’s President, Devin Burghart, was quoted in the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting;

Isaac Stone Simonelli writes, “Part of why CSPOA trainings are “so insidious” is because they expose law enforcement to a variety of dangerous and extremist perspectives at the events, Burghart explained. ‘It creates that bond that’s even harder to separate.’”

Simonelli goes on further, “Burghart said he was concerned that the rule change in Arizona will make it ‘a lot harder to keep an eye on where far-right sheriff groups are trying to infiltrate the state.’”

“If they decide that they’ve got a critical enough mass in a place like Arizona. They can essentially just organize them offline without having to publicize them. Then we will have a different challenge on our hands.” said Burghart

Read more here

Laura Gibbons

Author Laura Gibbons

Laura Gibbons is an IREHR research associate.

More posts by Laura Gibbons