Robert Stamm is a Virginia police sergeant suspended after an anti-fascist group exposed his links to a white nationalist group.
Stamm, 36, was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday, HuffPost reports.
The Virginia Division of Capitol Police said it was “made aware early Wednesday of a possible violation of division policy” and suspended him “after we discovered some social media posts this morning.”
A Virginia Antifa group published a report detailing Stamm’s social media posts linked to the Asatru Folk Assembly, a white nationalist organization classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The report also cited photos showing Stamm with tattoos that may be linked to white nationalism.
Stamm apparently deleted his Facebook account after the report was published.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Robert Stamm’s Social Media Posts Were Outed by an Antifa Group
A Virginia Antifa, or anti-fascist, group published a report Wednesday about Stamm’s social media photos after spotting the Virginia Capitol Police officer during a protest calling on Governor Ralph Northam to resign after he admitted wearing blackface for a costume in college.
“Capitol Police is the police force responsible for the Virginia capitol grounds in downtown Richmond, Virginia — in the area of the Governor’s Mansion and General Assembly,” Antifa Seven Hills said in the report. “Rob Stamm has been among the cops policing the numerous, near-daily protests demanding that Governor Ralph Northam resign. He was present at the capitol at least during protests on February 4th and 5th.”
The group published numerous screenshots of photos Stamm posted online.
“Stamm has an affinity for imagery which has been appropriated by white supremacists, often associated with Nazi Germany, police violence and vikings,” the group said. “Stamm frequently posts pictures from inside his workout room, where he displays a variety of flags.”
“Stamm’s favorite books listed on Facebook include ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany,’ a popular WWII history that details nazism, along with confederate histories,” the group added.
“He also likes Facebook pages such as ‘This is Europa’, MARIE LE PEN (the far-right French nationalist,) ‘Stop Farm Attacks & Murders in South Africa,’ ‘We Support Officer Darren Wilson,’ ‘Support Officer Darren Wilson,’ ‘Supporting Police in the Baltimore Riots,’ and a number of Odinist and neo-Volkish pages, namely ‘Asatru Folk Assembly’ (as well as a now-defunct ‘Asatru Folk Assembly’ page that has been deleted by Facebook due to hate speech.)”
2. Robert Stamm Was Linked to the Asatru Folk Assembly, Which is Classified as a Hate Group
Antifa noted that Stamm had numerous connections to the Asatru Folk Assembly. He is Facebook friends with several of the group’s members and posted a profile photo in January with the group’s logo overlaid on it.
The Asatru Folk Assembly has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
SPLC research analyst Keegan Hankes told HuffPost that the Asatru Folk Assembly is part of the “neo-Volkisch” movement, which “casts modern ethnocentric bigotries through the symbolism and mythologies derived from pre-Christian Norse and Germanic belief systems.”
“The SPLC designated AFA as a hate group because of their indulgence of myths of genetic purity, that race has a founding in biology; and because of its connections to the so-called alt-right and racist skinhead movements,” Hankes said.
According to Antifa, Stamm was Facebook friends with Matthew Flavel, one of the group’s leaders.
“The Asatru Folk Assembly would be deeply saddened were this officer to be persecuted based on his religious preference of baseless assumptions about his free associations,” Flavel told HuffPost.
3. Stamm Had Possible White Nationalist Tattoos, According to The Report
The report also cited multiple photos in which Stamm is seen with possible white nationalist tattoos.
Via Antifa Seven Hills:
Stamm was first observed by antifascists because he had a large bandaid covering his neck during a protest on capitol grounds. Looking back into his photo history, it appears Stamm has changed his neck tattoo over time.
In early 2012, his neck tattoo closely resembled the “wolfsangel,” a common symbol of the nazi party, and used in the U.S. by Aryan Nations organizations. Stamm’s original wolfsangel tattoo had a red-white-black color pattern — a common white power and white nationalist color scheme, known to be used most by the Hammerskins and also the colors of the nazi flag.
As of late 2012 — around the same time he became a corrections officer in Virginia — Stamm appears to have gotten his wolfsangel tattoo covered up with a new, more generic design: an anchor.
The group added that some of his other tattoos may have white nationalist symbolism.
“The wolfsangel isn’t the only white-supremacist associated tattoo,” the group said. “Stamm also sports tattoos such as the ‘Helm of Terror’/’Helm of Awe’ rune — a Nordic, neo-Volkïsh rune that is an ’emblem for identifying the followers of Asatru’ — and a large blue Iron Cross. While these tattoo designs do not necessarily connote nazism or white supremacy in every use, in combination with his other ties, Stamm’s affinity for these symbols seems to go beyond aesthetics or heritage.”
4. Stamm Was Suspended by The Virginia Capitol Police
Stamm was placed on paid administrative leave on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Virginia Division of Capitol Police told HuffPost.
Virginia Capitol Police spokesman Joe McKenna said the department was “made aware early Wednesday of a possible violation of division policy.”
McKenna said the department suspended Stamm “after we discovered some social media posts this morning.”
5. Antifa Vows to Expose More Police Officers
The Antifa group that published the report on Stamm vowed to “expose” other police officers’ ties to white nationalism.
“While we believe policing is, inherently, a white supremacist institution, when the cops are so bold as to make their allegiances open, we seize the opportunity,” the group said in a statement to HuffPost. “When they tout their allegiance to overtly fascist groups, we name them and expose their ties.”
“Maybe from this exposure, other overt white supremacists will be discouraged from joining law enforcement, where their violence is even more legitimized as state force,” they added. “We do not want to provide nazi cops with paid vacation. But one less pig on the streets is one less murderer patrolling around flashing their badge and gun.”
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