Police Lafayette fires new officer 24 hours after being exposed for ‘making racist comments on neo-Nazi forum’
- Indiana police officer was fired after admitting behind racist comments on defunct neo-Nazi forum revealed on social media
- Lafayette police failed to explain how Joseph Zacharek’s messages on Iron March did not come to light during a background check
- Chief Pat Flannelly said Zacharek’s comments referred to “ vile ” African culture and Jewish control of the economy, were part of Iron March’s database.
- The database was obtained and posted last year by anti-fascists
- Zacharek has not commented publicly on the situation
Lafayette, Indiana police fired a rookie officer 24 hours after it was revealed he participated in a neo-Nazi web forum known as Iron March.
Agent Joseph Zacharek, who had only been in the force since June, was revealed on Twitter after it was discovered that he had participated in the fascist forum.
The police internal affairs conducted an investigation that verified the information they received via the Twitter tip, and Zacharek was fired after allegedly admitting to posting the racist messages.
Indiana police officer Joseph Zacharek was fired after admitting he was behind racist comments on a defunct neo-Nazi forum that was revealed on social media
Lafayette police failed to explain how Joseph Zacharek’s messages on Iron March did not come to light during a background check
Zacharek was called to the police station on Friday night after allegations he posted on the neo-Nazi website surfaced on Thursday.
The Iron March site database was published on the internet in late 2019.
The rapid investigation found the social media tip “ plausible and credible. ”
Zacharek was asked if the comments were fraud, but admitted that the comments were his.
It came less than 24 hours after he was accused of being associated with the racist posts.
The allegations were leveled on social media on Friday evening. Within 24 hours, Officer Zacharek had been fired from the division
Among the messages he is said to have admitted to writing dating back to 2016 included questioning the African’s “ vile ” culture and learning that everything I was taught about race was a paper-thin fabrication that was backed by real world evidence. ‘
His bio on the site also claimed to have an interest “in (National Socialist) economics as a way to throw off the chains of usury and Jewish banking.”
LPD chief Pat Flannelly confirmed the termination of Zacharek’s employment on Saturday afternoon.
“Lafayette Police Department is conducting a very thorough and complete background investigation of all potential employees, including a full assessment of personal social media accounts,” the department said in a press release.
Chief Pat Flannelly said Zacharek’s comments referred to “ vile ” African culture and Jewish control of the economy, were part of Iron March’s database.
While this information may not have been accessible through our research processes, we appreciate that it has been brought to our attention. We are very proud of our research and are extremely disappointed that we were unable to retrieve this information during that process. We try to learn from this research so that it never happens again. ‘
The department has since tried to reassure the community that the officer had nothing to do with the department’s day-to-day police during the four months he was on the police force.
“I know the question everyone will have is, how is something like this missing in a background search,” said Chief Flannelly. ‘How is it possible and how can we prevent this from ever happening again? I’m not going to sugarcoat this. Ultimately, it is my responsibility. We missed it. ‘
“I’m not sure if we’re in the dark web or whatever this was,” Flannelly said to the Journal & courier. So we appreciate who did that research, however they came across it. We appreciate that they shared it with us. … We would never have hired him if we found that out in the background investigation. He would have been effectively eliminated. ‘
“ Officer Zacharek was hired in June 2020 and has worked exclusively in a training environment so far and has no exposure to the public, ” a statement read.
“As a result of this investigation, Officer Zacharek’s employment with the Lafayette Police Department has ended.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks white nationalist and other hate groups, described Iron March as “ an influential meeting place for young neo-Nazis and neo-fascists who watched the Western world with intentions to unleash race war on a global scale. ”