Dear Texas Commission on Law Enforcement:
We are reaching out to your office concerning upcoming events in Texas announced by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA). According to that organization, this event is being co-hosted with two Texas county sheriff’s departments. Promotional materials for those events further indicate that Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) credits are offered to peace officers who attend (six hours in Burnet County, twelve in Houston County).
We are concerned about TCOLE’s possible involvement in this event for several reasons.
First, CSPOA is currently co-sponsoring a nationwide tour with an antisemitic QAnon conspiracist. Robert David Steele is a prolific purveyor of antisemitism who spews conspiracy theories about “satanic Zionists” engaged in a global plot against white people; deems Jews “a secret society that believes itself to be exempt from all laws and customs of others;” promotes Holocaust denial; calls for jailing all Jews not sufficiently “loyal to the Republic;” and declares that we must “eradicate every Zionist who refuses to be loyal to their country of citizenship and the rule of law.”
Second, promotional materials indicate that Michael Peroutka is scheduled to speak at the event you are co-sponsoring. Peroutka was a national board member of the white nationalist secessionist group, the League of the South, a group that seeks a whites-only ethnostate in the U.S. south, promotes vicious antisemitism, and has forged alliances with neo-Nazis. Peroutka has denounced the Union’s victory in what he calls the “War Between the States.” Peroutka even led the League of the South convention in singing what he called the “national anthem” – “Dixie.” While Peroutka later backed away when his ties were exposed in 2014, he stated that “I don’t have any problem with the organization.”
Peroutka currently leads the Institute on the Constitution (IOTC). This group promotes anti-Muslim bigotry and state nullification. It has distributed material stating that “We see no reason why men should not discriminate on grounds of religion, race, or nationality if they wish.” Peroutka even pledged to use the Institute on the Constitution to aid the League of the South and advance the cause of imposing biblical law.
Lastly, we have concerns over the CSPOA, headed by longtime militia leader Richard Mack. The group promotes the long-discredited idea derived from the violently racist and antisemitic Posse Comitatus that sheriffs can usurp the judicial branch’s role in interpreting the Constitution and unilaterally override federal, state, and local laws. The job of sheriff is challenging enough without being saddled with these unconstitutional burdens.
The implicit stamp of approval by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to an event like this poses serious questions regarding civil rights and equal protection under the law.
We would like to offer you an opportunity to comment and clarify the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement’s involvement in supporting the event.
This is a serious matter. We hope that you will give it the attention it deserves. We will be contacting the Texas Attorney General and the United States Department of Justice to alert them of this situation if it is not resolved promptly.