Lafayette police fire new officer 24 hours after he is exposed for ‘making racist comments in a neo-Nazi forum’

  • An Indiana police officer was fired after he admitted to being behind racist comments on a defunct neo-Nazi forum that were exposed on social media
  • Lafayette Police Department has been unable to explain how Joseph Zacharek’s postings on Iron March didn’t come to light during a background check 
  • Chief Pat Flannelly said Zacharek’s comments made reference to ‘vile’ African culture and Jewish control of the economy, were part of Iron March’s database 
  • The database was obtained and posted by antifascists last year
  • Zacharek has not publicly commented on the situation

The Lafayette, Indiana police department has fired a rookie officer 24 hours after he was found to have participated in a Neo-Nazi web forum known as Iron March.

Officer Joseph Zacharek, who had only been a part of the force since June, was outed on Twitter after it was discovered he had participated in the fascist forum. 

The police department’s Internal Affairs conducted an investigation that verified the information they had received via the Twitter tip, and Zacharek was fired after reportedly admitting that he made the racist posts. 

Indiana police officer Joseph Zacharek was fired after he admitted to being behind racist comments on a defunct neo-Nazi forum that were exposed on social media

Indiana police officer Joseph Zacharek was fired after he admitted to being behind racist comments on a defunct neo-Nazi forum that were exposed on social media

Lafayette Police Department has been unable to explain how Joseph Zacharek's postings on Iron March didn't come to light during a background check

Lafayette Police Department has been unable to explain how Joseph Zacharek’s postings on Iron March didn’t come to light during a background check

Zacharek ended up being called into the police station on Friday night after the claims emerged Thursday that he had posted on the neo-Nazi website. 

The database from the Iron March site was exposed onto the internet in late 2019.

The swift investigation found the social media tip ‘plausible and credible.’

Zacharek was asked whether the remarks were a hoax but he admitted that the comments were his.

It came less than 24 hours after he was accused to having ties to the racist posts.  

The allegations were made on social media on Friday night. Within 24 hours officer Zacharek had been fired by the department

The allegations were made on social media on Friday night. Within 24 hours officer Zacharek had been fired by the department

Among the posts he is said to have admitted to writing dating back to 2016 include questioning ‘the vile ‘culture’ of the African and learned that everything I had been taught on race had been a flimsy fabrication which was not supported by real world evidence.’

His bio on the site also claimed an interest ‘in (National Socialist) economics as a way of throwing off the chains of usury and Jewish owned banking.’

LPD Chief Pat Flannelly confirmed the termination of Zacharek’s employment on Saturday afternoon.

‘The Lafayette Police Department conducts very thorough and complete background investigations on all potential employees, which includes a complete review of personal social media accounts,’ the department stated in a press release. 

Chief Pat Flannelly said Zacharek's comments made reference to 'vile' African culture and Jewish control of the economy, were part of Iron March's database

Chief Pat Flannelly said Zacharek’s comments made reference to ‘vile’ African culture and Jewish control of the economy, were part of Iron March’s database

‘While this information may not have been accessible through our investigative processes, we are appreciative that it was brought to our attention. We take great pride in our investigations and are extremely disappointed that we were not able to uncover this information in that process. We endeavor to learn from this investigation to ensure it never happens again.’

The department has since tried to reassure the community the officer did not have anything to do with everyday policing of the department in the four months he was on the force. 

‘I know the question everyone will have is, how does something like this get missed in a background investigation,’ Chief Flannelly said. ‘How is it possible and how do we prevent this from ever happening again? I’m not going to sugar-coat this. Ultimately, it’s my responsibility. We missed it.’

‘I’m not sure we’re into the dark web or whatever this was,’ Flannelly said to the Journal & Courier. ‘So, we’re appreciative of whoever did that research, however they came across it. We’re appreciative that they shared it with us. … We would have never hired him in the first place if we’d uncovered that in the background investigation. He would have been effectively eliminated.’ 

‘Officer Zacharek was hired in June of 2020 and to this point has been working solely in a training environment and has no exposure to the public,’ a statement read.  

‘As a result of this investigation Officer Zacharek’s employment with the Lafayette Police Department has been terminated.’

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks white nationalist and other hate groups, described Iron March ‘an influential gathering place for young neo-Nazis and neo-fascists who eyed the Western world with intentions of triggering race war on a global scale.’ 

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