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Indybay Feature
Thu Aug 17 2017 (Updated 08/18/17)
Alameda Sheriff Retweets and Follows Nazi Accounts
Thu Aug 17 2017 (Updated 08/18/17)
Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Retweets White Supremacist Press Conference
On the night of August 14 at around 10:40pm, the official Twitter account of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) retweeted a video of a press conference organized by Richard Spencer, the icon of the white supremacist “alt-right” movement. The retweet dubbed the press conference with a “Unite the Right” hashtag — the same slogan that white supremacist groups used to mobilize people to Charlottesville, VA, which resulted in the tragic murder of an anti-racist demonstrator by a white supremacist.

Community organizations that have long organized against the Sheriff’s harmful policies and practices argue that the endorsement of white supremacy on Twitter is representative of the department’s ongoing attacks against immigrants and people of color. Community members fighting police militarization with the Stop Urban Shield Coalition, anti-imprisonment organizers with Decarcerate Alameda, and immigrant rights advocates with Alameda County United in Defense of Immigrant Rights all condemn not just the message of the retweet, but the ongoing racism and violence of the Sheriff’s Office against impacted communities.

Sergeant Ray Kelly of Sheriff’s Office took responsibility for the action while claiming the retweet was an "accident," but in fact it's part of a long pattern of racist attitudes and practices. Community activists responded immediately by calling out the Sheriff’s Office and the contradictions in their story, including that ACSO was also following notorious neo-Nazi Kyle Chapman, known as "Based Stickman," from their official account. Sergeant Kelly made headlines defending the arrest of a fruit vendor a few months ago by saying, "If you don't enforce this type of selling, it will begin to look like a Third World fruit market."

A protest was held at the Sheriff’s Office in Oakland on August 16.

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