Press Release

ADL Says Las Vegas Shootings Underscore Growing Trend of Right-Wing Extremists Targeting Police

Las Vegas, NV, June 9, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the point-blank shootings of two police officers and a civilian in Las Vegas at the hands of suspected right-wing anti-government extremists are part of a growing trend of right-wing extremists singling out police officers for unprovoked violence and bloodshed.

“The two police officers who lost their lives are only the latest in a series of casualties in a de facto war being waged against police by right-wing extremists, including both anti-government extremists and white supremacists,” said Mark Pitcavage, ADL Director of Investigative Research. “Some extremists have deliberately targeted police, while others have responded violently when meeting police in unplanned encounters. The killings are not the effort of a concerted campaign, but rather a series of independent attacks and clashes stemming from right-wing ideologies.”

Jerad and Amanda Miller -- identified by their Internet writings as anti-government extremists of the “Patriot” movement variety -- are suspected of fatally shooting Las Vegas Police Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo and a civilian before taking their own lives on June 8.

Based on their Internet writings, the Millers believed in common militia-type conspiracy theories about the “New World Order,” including “concentration camps” for Americans, coming martial law and “chemtrails,” among others. The most recent entry on Jerad Miller’s Facebook page on June 7 chillingly read:  “The dawn of a new day.  May all of our coming sacrifices be worth it.”

In late May 2014, ADL experts conducted a training seminar on right-wing extremism, including anti-government extremists, for 150 law enforcement officers from the Las Vegas area.  Also in late May, ADL provided a similar training to 120 officers for the National Latino Peace Officers Association conference in Las Vegas.

“Over the last several years law enforcement in the Las Vegas area have asked us to keep them informed and up-to-date on the growing threat of militia activity in Nevada,” said Phyllis Friedman, ADL Las Vegas Regional Director.  “So the militia threat has been on their radar, and on ours.  Our hearts go out to the officers’ families during this devastating time.”

In the past five years alone, according to ADL data, there have been 43 separate violent incidents between domestic extremists (of all types) and law enforcement in the United States.  Of these incidents, 39 involved extremists sporting some sort of extreme right-wing ideology.

“Extreme ideologies seem to provoke some right-wing radicals into directly attacking police officers,” said Mr. Pitcavage.  “Anti-government extremists such as militia groups and sovereign citizens believe that police are agents of the illegitimate government, while white supremacists believe that police are tools of the ‘Jewish-controlled’ government.  The same ideologies can cause extremists to act out violently when they randomly encounter police in routine situations.”