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Updates on Northwest Fascists

Bonner County Sheriff candidate Shaun Patrick Winkler stands at home with his daughter Hannah, south of Priest River, Idaho in the Spring of 2012. He proclaims himself the grand wizard of his local klavern of the Ku Klux Klan. Winkler was once head of security for the Aryan Nations during the Richard Butler era in nearby Hayden, Idaho during the late 90’s. On May 15, 2012 he (won or lost) the race to (winner), receiving (??) votes.

Not that any of this is surprising, but the Pacific Northwest is a real center of contemporary fascism. I almost feel bad for northern Idaho, in that most of the people there are right-wingers but the real Nazis come there as they have for decades because it is their dreamscape. So most of the death threats against the cops who arrested the real attempt to fascist up a bit are also not from the area. But still.

Police in Idaho said they’ve received death threats after arresting dozens of suspected members of a white supremacist group right before they allegedly planned to riot at an LGBTQ Pride event Saturday.

Coeur d’Alene police received about 150 calls in the two days after making the arrests, Chief Lee White told reporters Monday at a news conference. In about half of them, callers identified themselves and praised the police department for stopping the 31 men, who are accused of having ties to Patriot Front, which the Anti-Defamation League identifies as a hate group.

“And the other 50 percent — who are completely anonymous and want nothing more than to scream and yell at us and use some really choice words — offered death threats against myself and other members of the police department merely for doing our jobs,” White said, adding that they’ve gotten calls from as far away as Norway.

Does Anders Breivik have phone access?

And then there’s this lovely story from Kent, Washington, part of the generally pretty awful south King County world.

A Seattle-area police officer was walking by an assistant chief’s office in 2020 when he spotted something strange on the door — insignia of high-ranking Nazi SS officers.

The officer reported it to the police chief, which led city officials in Kent, Wash., to suspend the assistant chief — 27-year department veteran Derek Kammerzell — for two weeks without pay. But after taking heat from those who felt the punishment was too soft, those officials sought to push Kammerzell out of the department entirely.

Now, the city’s leaders have agreed to pay more than $1.52 million to make that happen. While acknowledging that the settlement is “a substantial sum,” they said they believe the payout lets them move on by ridding Kent of an employee whose presence would distract from the department’s mission of policing the city.

“It was clear that the Assistant Chief would have significant difficulty being an effective leader in the Department,” officials said Friday in a statement.

This guy is a real class act.

The investigation uncovered several other instances in which co-workers said Kammerzell had mentioned the Nazis, the lawyer wrote in the report.In one, a police officer told the investigator that Kammerzell had joked some 15 years earlier about his grandfather dying in the Holocaust — because he got drunk and fell out of a Nazi guard tower, the report states. When interviewed, Kammerzell confirmed he told the joke more than once.

In another, a detective said that several years earlier, Kammerzell showed him a picture on his cellphone in which Kammerzell had his facial hair shaved into “a Hitler mustache” while wearing lederhosen, dress native to parts of Germany, according to the report. As he showed off the picture, he explained that he had thrown up his hand in a “Heil Hitler” salute while being photographed with another city official on a different occasion, the detective said.

When the lawyer asked about the accusation, Kammerzell admitted that he had once sculpted his facial hair to look like Adolf Hitler’s, although he said it was one of many configurations he photographed as he was shaving it off. He denied flashing a Nazi salute and suggested that any photograph that appeared to show otherwise had caught him in the middle of waving.

But it costs the city more to fire him than just to pay out, so there we go. Guy gets a million and a half and walks, probably to a state representative position or something from the lovely people of Kent.

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