Police Chief Defends Hiring Reserve Officer With Ties To Neo-Nazi Groups
Achille, OK – The former leader of a white supremacist gang has been hired as a reserve officer at the Achille Police Department.
“He was involved in some kind of group then, and wanted out and the only way he figured he could get out would be to move far away," Achille Police Chief Christopher Watson told KXII. "In the two years that I have known him, he has done nothing but contribute.”
Officer Bart Alsbrook’s alleged history with white supremacist groups came to light in August of 2017.
That's when he was named as the interim chief of the Colbert Police Department, which appears to be a single chief with reserve officers.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) pointed out two neo-Nazi websites owned and operated by Officer Alsbrook, Newsweek reported.
One was ISD Records, a record label and website that sold music produced by neo-Nazi punk bands.
A banner on the website announced that it was also the voice of the Texas skinhead group, Blood & Honour.
Officer Alsbrook allegedly ran another company, NS88 Videos, under the Blood & Honour name.
According to Newsweek, the “NS” in the company’s name was a Nazi abbreviation for “national socialism,” while the “88” represented the eighth letter of the alphabet, “H,” meaning “heil Hitler.”
Then-interim Chief Alsbrook initially denied having been involved with either company, and alleged that a group of skinheads stole his wallet at a heavy metal concert in the early 1990s. He claimed the group had been using his name ever since.
After Chief Alsbrook was questioned by KXII, however, both websites were taken down within hours, according to the Herald Democrat.
Shortly thereafter, documentaries recorded in the mid-2000s that showed Officer Alsbrook discussing his involvement with Blood & Honour and the neo-Nazi music industry surfaced, Newsweek reported.
In one interview, he spoke about the meaning behind Combat 18’s name – a group affiliated with Blood & Honour, the Herald Democrat reported.
“We have a saying that C18 is basically the militant wing of Blood & Honour,” the future police officer explained in the documentary, according to the Herald Democrat. “The C, of course, stands for combat. The number 18 is the first letter of the alphabet — one being A and the eighth letter being H. AH, which stands for Adolf Hitler.”
“So, when you draw it out, it is Combat Adolf Hitler, which represents a fighting force, combat in the name of national socialism, and Adolf Hitler,” he said.
Then-interim Chief Alsbrook resigned from his position at the Colbert Police Department approximately one week after his assignment, and ultimately admitted his past ties to skinhead neo-Nazi organizations, KXII reported.
Chief Watson said he and Officer Alsbrook have discussed those past affiliations, as well as the department’s zero-tolerance policy with regard to racism.
“Everyone has a past, some of which they may not be proud of, of which he is not,” Chief Watson said. “He wishes he never had those connections.”
Achille City Clerk Laura Stanley also defended Officer Alsbrook’s hiring during a phone call with the Herald Democrat on Sep. 13.
“We don’t consider something from 20 years ago,” Stanley said, according to the paper.
Officer Alsbrook has refused to give further interviews regarding his checkered past.
“I do not want my name associated with any hate ideology,” Officer Alsbrook later told KXII in an email.
Chief Watson also refused to speak further on the issue, and expressed frustration over how his recent interview with KXII was presented, KFOR reported.
"What happened with that interview is that it was edited to the point to continue like Mr. Alsbrook was currently involved with that,” Chief Watson told KFOR. “That was 22 years ago – 1996."
“The media and those cameras have ruined that man’s name enough,” the chief added.