Social networking postings and links made by a Florida man who killed a Charlotte County deputy reveal a vehement loathing for President Barack Obama as well as sympathy for a variety of racist and anti-Muslim causes.
On Monday, August 2, Sergeant Mike Wilson of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office responded to a domestic disturbance call at an apartment building in Port Charlotte. As he entered the stairwell of the building, Jaroslav “Jay” Vanko, 49, fired at the deputy from the top of the staircase, mortally wounding Wilson in the chest above his bulletproof vest. Vanko killed himself soon after as police surrounded the building.
Why Vanko decided to resort to lethal violence is not clear and may never be known. However, Vanko’s profile on the social networking website Facebook, as well as his postings elsewhere on that site, provide considerable insight into many of his views and opinions.
Vanko’s on-line writings clearly reveal that, in the years since his arrival in the United States from the Czech Republic, he had developed an attachment to a variety of far right-wing causes that ranged from mainstream to extreme. One of Vanko’s most cherished causes was the issue of gun rights, but he tended to be most emotional on the subject of President Barack Obama, describing Obama as a “snake” and a “scumbag” who “literally make me a sick” [language as in original posting]. According to Vanko, Obama was seeking a rise in criminal activity in order to justify mass gun confiscation. “That is exactly what Lenin did,” Vanko wrote, accusing Obama of seeking to “spark [a] socialist revolution.”
As disturbing as such comments are, even more disturbing are some of the other causes that Vanko supported. Among Vanko’s Facebook “likes” were a variety of racist, white supremacist, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim Facebook pages, including “American White History Month,” the anti-Muslim “United States of America Defence [sic] League,” “Islam Free Planet,” “The Counter Jihad Report,” “Boycott Halal,” the anti-government extremist “Three Percenters III%” page, the racist and anti-Muslim English Defence League, the page for conspiracy theory talk show host Alex Jones, and many similar pages.
His “likes” also included several Facebook pages tied to white supremacist groups, including the page “Save the White People in South Africa,” associated with the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations and other white supremacist groups, as well as the page for the American Renaissance, a white supremacist magazine published by longstanding racist Jared Taylor. In a posting he made to the South Africa page, Vanko offered his own opinion of the white race: “I love whites, most beautiful people on planet. We need to fight it on daily basis, not deal with savages on any level and ignore them everywhere” [language as in original posting].