An article from ADL this week revealed a long list of law enforcement officials who belong to the Oath Keepers. The Oath Keepers is a far-right anti-government militia who are believed to have played a large role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capital.
One member highlighted in the article was a Chesterfield Deputy. ADL reported that the Chesterfield Deputy wrote the following in an offer of help to the Oath Keepers: “I’m not sure that I have any talents that aren’t already available or really useful. Outside of the military, I’m a graphic designer (AAS – Visual Communications) and self-storage assistant. I’ve worked for education publishing, newspapers, magazines, etc., doing image creation, ad layouts, flyers, brochures, design, and so forth…I am happy to assist with whatever I can though, whether it’s with people, events, promotions, whatever.”
Sheriff Karl Leonard released a statement Wednesday night saying as long as no lines are crossed, he supports the first amendment right to join an organization. “As a constitutional officer, I will always defend individual constitutional rights. Memberships in an organization such as Oath Keepers, as well as many other groups, is a protected 1st amendment right,” Leonard wrote. “However, if at any time the line is crossed to violence, any criminal act, or any actions discriminatory in any fashion, swift action will be taken as that behavior will never be acceptable or tolerated.”
The press release from the sheriff’s office also stated that the individual mentioned in the ADL article is currently serving active duty in the military overseas. The deputy has not been identified but joined the sheriff’s office in 2018 and left for active duty in September of 2021.
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