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Alabama police officers suspended after 'hate group' membership alleged

By Doug G. Ware
Alabama police officers suspended after 'hate group' membership alleged
Two Alabama police officers were placed on administrative leave Wednesday after a civil rights advocacy group claimed that they belonged to a hate group. Photo: Kritchanut / ShutterStock

ANNISTON, Ala., June 18 (UPI) -- Two police officers for the town of Anniston, Ala., were suspended Wednesday after allegations surfaced that the men belong to a hate group.

The two officers were placed on routine administrative leave pending an investigation, CNN reported Wednesday.

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The accusations were made in an article posted online by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The story claims that both men are members of the neo-Confederate League of the South.

The SPLC, a civil rights advocacy group, claims in the article that the officers attended a conference of the group in 2013 -- where one of them said "kith and kin comes before illegal national mandates."

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"Kith and kin is part of an explicitly racist ideology called kinism," the SPLC wrote. "The Kinist Institute, an organization that promotes kinism, has called for laws against racial intermarriage, an end to non-white immigration, expelling all 'aliens' (to include all Jews and Arabs), and restricting the right to vote to white, landholding men over the age of 21."

The city of Anniston said it is investigating the allegations.

"The City of Anniston has commenced an investigation into this matter and will work diligently to ensure the appropriate action is taken," the city said.

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Despite the classification by the SPLC, the League of the South says it is not a hate group. On its website, it states its mission "to advance the cultural, social, economic, and political well-being and independence of the Southern people by all honorable means."

The SPLC said it found video of the 2013 conference speech about a week ago, CNN's report said. One of the group's directors claims Anniston officials had previously investigated one of the officers' ties to the group.

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