Thousands Of Texans Linked To Extremist Group

A group of hackers is releasing what is reportedly a membership roll of the Oath Keepers, and Texas leads the way with the most names on the list and the most names working in law enforcement.

"From a criminal justice perspective, it's highly problematic when any member of law enforcement is involved in these forms for far-right extremist," Dr. Jared Dmello at Sam Houston State University tells 1200 WOAI news.

The far-right, anti-government militia has been around since 2009, but rose to prominence during the January 6 Capitol riot. The Southern Poverty Law Center links the Oath Keepers with both the sovereign citizen movement and posse comitatus movement, which believe that sheriffs are the highest law enforcement authorities in the United States.

On the membership list, researchers from the Anti-Defamation League found two elected sheriffs from Texas. Jeff Lyde works in Clay County and John Chris Hooper leads law enforcement in Nueces County.

"If the person at the top is holding these extremist views, there is a bit of discriminatory power there," Dmello explains

He points to the recent COVID pandemic, where certain sheriffs across the country refused to comply with health orders

The ADL picked out more than 3,300 Texans on the member list. A total of 33 were active law enforcement officers and ten were military members.

That report makes it clear that appearing on the list "is not proof that they were or are still an Oath Keeper, that they hold or held all or some of Oath Keeper ideology or viewpoints, or that they ever actively participated in Oath Keeper activities."

The leader of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, is a Texans. He's charged with seditious conspiracy and is set to go on trial later this month.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content