This article includes explicit and offensive material. It highlights part of ADL’s ongoing efforts to track and expose the ugly reactions and responses of white supremacists and extremists to the high-profile police shooting incidents across the United States in 2014-15.
Michael Slager, a North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer, has been charged with murder after a witness turned in cellphone video of the April 4 shooting death of Walter Scott. The video showed Slager, a white officer, shooting Scott, an African-American, multiple times in the back as Scott apparently fled from a traffic stop situation.
The graphic footage evoked strong public reactions at a time when police shootings of unarmed African-Americans have been brought into the national spotlight. Police Chief Eddie Driggers spoke for many viewers when he said, “I was sickened by what I saw.”
Not everybody had that reaction.
Among racists and white supremacists, the video provoked an entirely different set of conversations, dominated by virulently racist responses. “This cop should be applauded for taking a future rapist, thief, drug dealer, nigger off the street,” posted American_Fascist to the discussion site reddit. “I like this cop’s style,” wrote Pungspark on the white supremacist Daily Stormer site. “Too bad [he] didn’t make sure there were no witnesses.”
Some white supremacists agreed, even if reluctantly, that the officer might have committed murder. “It appears that the pig did unjustly kill the jig,” allowed Joe from OH on the white supremacist Vanguard News Network (VNN) forum.
Others defended the officer’s actions, claiming that Scott had taken Slager’s Taser. “If a perp gets your taser, you can shoot the nigger,” wrote an anonymous poster to the discussion site Zero Censorship. Some claimed anybody who ran away from police was guilty. “Again we have a black guy running from the police which in my opinion is the action of guilt,” stated Scorpion4444 on the white supremacist forum Stormfront. On the same site, Tenniel wrote, “It used to be that if a suspect ran from the cop, he was confirming his guilt…If white men still had power, that’s the way it would be.”
However, many posts openly applauded the shooting. “Personally, I don’t care how unjustified the ‘murder’ was,” wrote Hellen on VNN. “It’s a jig, it would have gone to rape and kill numerous people, that’s what they do. That officer prevented many future crimes.”
310tournad posted to Stormfront that “after bearing witness to the never ending stream…of blacks raping, robbing, murdering, rioting, and preying on…innocent whites, I couldn’t care less about this negro.” Poster dkr77 wrote on the same site, “I say good riddance. Just think of the money that cop saved the tax payer.” Honor Sword wrote, “One less negro running the streets.”
Some responses actually attacked the officer. “Typical leftist union thug behavior” was how one anonymous Zero Censorship poster referred to Slager’s actions. Joe from OH had a similar reaction, using an epithet white supremacists reserve for police officers: “Another gutless blue nigger. Murderous public union thug.” Angl0sax0nknight wrote on Stormfront that “I don’t care what took place before…the cowardly pig shoots him in the back. Remember more whites are killed by cops [than] blacks…This pig should fry!”
Many posters anticipated demonstrations and protests in response to the shootings, some attributing them to Jewish control of the media, as did beast9 on Stormfront: “And yet the hooked nose kikes always leave out the race of the blacks killing and raping people. The media jews want a race war.”
Common were responses that included the currently popular racist memes “chimpout” and “dindu nuffins.” “Chimpout” is a racist term to describe protests from the African-American community in response to recent police shootings. “Whether or not they have a cat[egory] 3 chimpout in North Charleston,” wrote poster MLK_gibsmedatdream to reddit, “the media is going to be replaying this for many months.”
“Dindu nuffins” is a term that originated in 2014 in response the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. It began as a hate-filled mockery of relatives of shooting victims who claimed that the victims had done no wrong (as in “he didn’t do anything”), then evolved into a racial epithet for African-Americans, sometimes shortened further to “dindus.” Stormfronter WhiteWarrior79 lambasted Chief Driggers, “who almost cried when talking about the poor dindu nuffin negro,” while fellow Stormfronter SPYDERx13 asked, “When do the Din-do’s start rioting, ummm, protesting?”