Cops Have Long Encouraged Armed Right-Wing Counterprotesters Like the Teenage Shooter in Kenosha

Since the latest uprising for racial justice began, police throughout the country have been very friendly with cop-worshipping, armed right-wingers who have shown up on the streets across America to oppose protesters. The teenage shooter in Kenosha who killed two protesters this week wasn’t the first and probably won’t be the last.

ou didn’t need the recent events in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to know that something is seriously rotten in American policing. But this week’s murder of two protesters by a gun-toting, cop-worshipping teenage vigilante is a visceral reminder of the human costs of law enforcement’s affinity for armed, right-wing militias.

From what we know so far, though the boy who was apprehended didn’t have ties to extremist movements, he was a wannabe police officer. Besides a Facebook page littered with pro-police words and images, he had been part of his local police department’s “Explorer” program, which trains teens and young adults in policing activities like traffic stops, domestic disputes, and firearm use, with the aim of eventually piping them into a law enforcement career. Much like the police, who view themselves as the “thin blue line” protecting civilization from lawless hordes of agitators, he apparently saw himself as protecting Kenosha’s people and property from protesters and rioters.

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