Killing of Police Officers in Las Vegas: Latest Warning on Violent Extremism | Not in Our Town

Killing of Police Officers in Las Vegas: Latest Warning on Violent Extremism

“We can’t prevent everything, but maybe we can prevent a percentage of it from happening.”

—Pastor Troy Martinez of East Las Vegas in the Las Vegas Sun

Our condolences go out to the police department and the families of Metro Officers Igor Soldo and Alyn Beck and bystander Joseph Wilcox in Las Vegas, who were murdered by anti-government white supremacists on Sunday, June 8 at a shoot out in a pizza parlor and Wal-Mart store.

These killings beg the question: What can we do as communities to respond and prevent violent eruptions of anti - government extremism and bigotry? Find resources here.

From the Las Vegas Sun: Brandi Curran with son Dennis, 3, joins community members to honor slain Metro Police Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo with music, prayer and a candlelight vigil outside CiCi’s Pizza on Monday, June 9, 2014, in Las Vegas. (Credit: L.E. Baskow)

Domestic TerrorismResidents of Las Vegas are grappling with tragedy after an anti-government married couple with white supremacist ties shot two police officers and an innocent bystander at a nearby Wal-Mart before turning the guns on themselves. The male shooter shouted that this was the “beginning of a revolution” throughout his killing spree. The right-wing extremists draped the body of one of the fallen officers with a swastika and a yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” Gadsden flag. This is not an isolated incident.

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the shooting is the latest in a string of attacks. From 2009 through 2013, ADL has tracked 43 sep­a­rate vio­lent inci­dents between domes­tic extrem­ists  and law enforce­ment in the United States.

The shooters, Jared and Amanda Miller, often spouted anti-government rhetoric on their Facebook pages and to neighbors, according to a report by the New York Times. Miller was filmed by a Nevada television station at the militia stand off at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Northern Nevada.

Tools to Use: Not In Our Town provides resources for communities to respond in the wake of hate.

Addressing a Dangerous Threat: Domestic Terrorism

Just last week, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it was reviving a domestic terrorism working group in response to the shooting in Overland Park, KS and other acts of violence. During the announcement, Attorney General Eric Holder said—that instead of focusing solely on Islamist terrorism, “we must also concern ourselves with the continued danger we face from individuals within our own borders who may be motivated by a variety of other causes from anti-government animus to racial prejudice."

"Maybe we all begin to watch out for each other just a little bit more...”

In light of this terrible event, community members in the city came together to mourn and stand in solidarity against blatant hate.

"We need conversation to allow the community to heal," Pastor Troy Martinez of East Vegas Christian Center told the Las Vegas Sun. "Maybe we all begin to watch out for each other just a little bit more than we did before. You can't prevent everything, but we maybe we can prevent a percentage of it from happening."

Not In Our Town works to provide communities and law enforcement with the tools to respond to these tragedies and to also be prepared. Find tools and resources here.

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