This is a bit of a wormhole, so bear with me. But I think it illuminates some deeply concerning stuff about the right-wing Boomer propaganda machine.
I saw a link on Twitter with the headline, "Colorado to strip its police force of qualified immunity: Countless officers discussing resigning." Naturally, I was intrigued at the suggestion of police officers throwing public tantrums over having the slightest accountability in their supposed duties to serve and protect their communities. So I saved the link to read later. When I opened it, I found a terribly cheap right-wing propaganda website called Law Enforcement Today, with a poorly written article that linked to a Denver Post article from a few weeks back about Colorado SB-217, which is supposed to restrict the use of tear gas and projectiles on civilians and introduce criminal charges for cops who don't intervene when they witness another officer exercising excessive force. The Law Enforcement Today coverage is long and meandering and doesn't even have an author listed; at the top of the article, however, there is an editor's note saying:
Law Enforcement Today has received countless messages over the past few days from officers in Colorado. Many have asked for resources finding police jobs out of Colorado – many others have said they plan on leaving the field altogether.
This is just the beginning. Here's why.
And that is the extent of information available at police threatening to resign over losing qualified immunity. So what was supposedly the main focus of the article — based on the headline — was just some hearsay tacked onto the top of it.
I scrolled down for some more information on the site, since it apparently has nearly a million followers on Facebook. There was no information on who writes, edits, or funds the page — but I did find this screenshot embedded at the bottom of the article, encouraging readers to follow them:
"In unity there is strength" is a slogan derived from the original Fasces symbol, which inspired Mussolini's National Fascist Party. While I certainly knew there was an overlap of pro-police propaganda and fascists, I didn't expect this mysterious shitty website with a million followers to be openly boasting about fascism.
So of course, I kept digging.
It was hard to find any information about the LLC behind Law Enforcement Today, but I did eventually find some details on their founder/CEO Robert Greenberg. I was able to confirm that Greenberg started the "online community" in 2008, so I felt mostly confident that at least it's probably not a Russian or Macedonian troll op.
But I did notice that Greenberg claims to be a police captain, with 30 years of experience. Surely this information would be public, and I could find out more, or at least confirm it, right? Just to be sure it's not a troll op?
Greenberg, it turns out, is indeed a police captain. He works for the Public Safety Department of Indian Creek Village in Florida.
Here's how the Miami Herald describes Indian Creek Village:
Tucked off the shores of Surfside in Biscayne Bay, Indian Creek Island has become known as a "billionaire bunker." Its 86 residents include four of America's top 500 richest people, according to Forbes: activist investor Carl Icahn; hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert; car dealership owner Norman Braman. and mutual fund mogul Charles Johnson.
Taken together, the village of 86 residents boasts a net worth in excess of $37 billion.
The most expensive property on the island belongs an unnamed Russian billionaire hiding behind an LLC. Prior to that $50 million dollar sale, the next-most expensive property … also sold to an unnamed Russian billionaire.
For what it's worth, one of the 35 houses on the island once belonged to Jay-Z and Beyonce as well.
Knowing all of this, it's perhaps unsurprising that the captain of the 13-person police department that protects these 35 mansions is so under-stimulated in his day job that he spends all of his time running an openly fascist police propaganda website.
At least, after all that, I'm confident in saying it's a troll farm.
Inside The Dangerous Online Fever Swamps Of American Police [Jesselyn Cook and Nick Robins-Early / Huffington Post]