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LPD officer identified in leaked Oath Keeper membership log

Members of the Oath Keepers in body armor and face coverings stand in front of the Capitol Building's tall Greek columns. American and "Don't Tread on Me" flags can be seen to the left.
Manuel Balce Ceneta
Members of the Oath Keepers on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.

A Laramie Police officer was one of three law enforcement officers across the state revealed to have a connection to the Oath Keepers. The Oath Keepers are an extremist anti-government group, whose founder is now facing seditious conspiracy charges for his role in the January 6 Capitol Riot.

Last year, hackers leaked an internal Oath Keeper membership log, which was then analyzed by the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL is a Jewish group that seeks to combat antisemitism and other extremism.

Months ago, that leak revealed that Frank Eathorne, the chair of the Wyoming Republican Party, was a member. The Casper Star-Tribune reports that it also shows three members of Wyoming law enforcement were registered members — at least at some point in the past.

A Laramie Police officer was among them. The Laramie Police Department said its officer left no later than 2014 — but the leaked membership log itself suggests that he joined more than two years after that, in 2016, according to the Laramie Reporter.

An LPD spokesman said the department was aware of the possible 2016 join date but that it couldn't be confirmed and the officer himself only admits to joining in 2013 or 2014.

The join date is important because 2014 is the year the Oath Keepers got more visible, putting boots on the ground during the Bundy Ranch standoff and the Ferguson Uprising. This led the Anti-Defamation League to officially label the group "extremist"— although the ADL says Oath Keepers have always espoused extremism.

Membership in an extremist group such as the Oath Keepers violates the LPD's internal policies.

"No personnel shall become a member of any organization, association, movement, or group, which has adopted a policy of advocating violence or acts of force to deny others their Constitutional rights, or who seek to alter the form of government by unconstitutional means, or who advocate racial or religious discrimination as a political philosophy or objective," states Laramie Police Department General Order, ADM 14, according to an LPD news release.

The LPD would not say whether disciplinary action had been taken, saying that it's a personnel matter. The revelation has renewed local calls for a civilian oversight board.

Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.
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