INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some of Indiana’s elected officials, law enforcement, first responders, and those in the military were listed as current or past members of the Oath Keepers, an extremist group in a leaked list by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
“This is an organization that is built on the idea that the government is actively trying to strip Americans of their rights and liberties with the ultimate aim of enslaving the people,” explained Alex Friedfeld, an investigative researcher for ADL’s Center on Extremism.
According to the report, 23 of the 696 Hoosiers listed, are in positions of power. Nine are law enforcement, six are elected officials, five are first responders, and three are in the military.
Elkhart County Commissioner, Brad Rogers, is one of the elected officials listed. He says he has not been a member of the organization for eight years. He gave I-Team 8 this statement:
“The original stated mission of Oath Keepers centered around non-violent, non-compliance with orders that violated the rights of all individuals. However, Oath Keepers leaders began to go on record that there will be ‘blood in the streets’ and began promoting or encouraging civil war. When this violation of their bylaws began, I and many others left the organization. When board members brought up concerns about the shift in direction Oath Keepers was taking, they were ignored – circumventing the organizational structure. They became disorganized, hence, why my outdated contact information is still on some of these lists. (The email list shows me as Sheriff, a position I have not held since 2018.) I am an advocate for the protection of individual rights and the Constitution as our rule of law – something that Oath Keepers now stand opposed to. This is why I left the organization those years ago.”
Freidfeld says the ADL is working closely with the military and law enforcement agencies to notify them of the individuals on the list. He says a total of 38,000 names across the nation were found.
“It’s really important to investigate these names [and] to look into who these individuals exactly are and what is the nature of their association with the Oath Keepers over the last few years,” Freidfeld said.
The researcher says just last year the ADL found 76 cases nationwide of individuals and law enforcement who were associated with extremist movements over a 10-year period. This new report shows 373 members of law enforcement who were or are apart of the Oath Keepers.
A federal grand jury indicted Indianapolis resident and Oath Keeper, Michael Greene this summer for conspiracy in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Prosecutors say Greene, who told Mother Jones he is an Iraq war veteran and military contractor, helped the Oath Keepers take weapons and ammunition to D-C leading up to January 6th, and texted others that he was “storming the capitol” that afternoon.
Friedfeld says Oath Keepers focus on current and former military members.
“We will continue these efforts to ensure that these people are held accountable,” he said.