ANNISTON, Ala. — The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified two Alabama police officers as members of what they say is a nationalist hate group. The city of Anniston placed the two officers on administrative leave Wednesday.
Lt. Josh Doggrell, of the Anniston Police Department, spoke in 2013 at a conference held by the neo-Confederate group known as the League of the South. Doggrell was later joined by his colleague, Lt. Wayne Brown, who is also employed as an Anniston police officer.
According to the SPLC, Doggrell spoke about “gun rights, county supremacy, and his loyalty to the League.” They claim the League of the South is a racist organization that subscribes to an ideology called “kinism.”
“Kith and kin comes before illegal national mandates,” Doggrell said during his speech at the League’s conference, lending credence to their accusation.
The SPLC further details the group’s ideology, writing:
Kith and kin is part of an explicitly racist ideology called “kinism” that Hill has long promoted through the LOS. The Kinist Institute, an organization that promotes kinism, has called for laws against racial intermarriage, an end to non-white immigration, expelling all “aliens” (“to include all Jews and Arabs”), and restricting the right to vote to white, landholding men over the age of 21. In the past, LOS websites have referred to kinism as “a biblical solution for all races” that will save the South by preventing “white genocide.”
The SPLC has more data to back up their claims that the League of the South is a racist organization. The League’s president, Michael Hill, wrote an essay last month called “A few notes on an American race war.”
“Negroes are more impulsive than whites,” Hill wrote. “Tenacity and organization are not the negroes [sic] strong suits. If [a race war] could be won by ferocity alone, he might have a chance. But like the adrenaline rush that sparks it, ferocity is short lived. And it can be countered by cool discipline, an historic white trait, and all that stems from it.”
Doggrell’s connection to the league is not in dispute, reportedly anticipating questions regarding his membership to the organization. “I’m not going to sell out my position with the League, as something I believe in strongly,” Doggrell said. “If it came down to it, I’d choose the League.”
Members of the SPLC group Hatewatch contacted the Anniston Police Department, but were directed to the Anniston city manager, Brian Johnson, who described the League as a “civic club.” Hatewatch proposed a hypothetical scenario in which the Anniston police department hired officers who were members of the Ku Klux Klan hate group, and Johnson responded “We could not terminate an employee solely on his or her membership in a legal, lawfully formed, civic club or organization.”
Following the publication of the information and the city manager’s response, city spokeswoman Aziza Jackson confirmed that the two officers were placed on suspension.
“After being made aware of the Wednesday, June 17 article by the SPLC, the City of Anniston is taking the allegations made against Lt. Brown and Lt. Doggrell very seriously and have placed both officers on administrative leave. Lt. Brown and Lt. Doggrell do not speak for the City of Anniston nor the Anniston Police Department. The City of Anniston has commenced an investigation into this matter and will work diligently to ensure the appropriate action is taken.”
The full report by the SPLC is available here.