UPDATE: Pittsburgh Cop Killer Was Racist

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For those who have congratulated the cop killer for killing a black cop, here’s some more information for you. Apparently Richard Poplawski, the man who killed three cops in Pittsburgh, was a racist and neo-Nazi. Here’s a some quotes from the New York Times article on him.

After the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl, Mr. Poplawski dismissed football as nothing but “negroball.” Then, instead of celebrating the victory, he went out and did reconnaissance on how the police tried to control the crowds and posted his findings.

The postings support what Mr. Poplawski’s friends have told reporters: that he was worried about the election of President Obama and that he had said he would defend himself if anyone ever tried to take his guns.

The postings were made on Stormfront, a white supremacist chat site, and Infowars, a Web site affiliated with a radio talk show host, Alex Jones, beginning in late 2007 and continuing until two days before the shootings.

Editor’s Note

One of the police officers killed was black. I realize there is a lot of animosity against the police in our community but this was a black man killed because an insane white man believed that Obama was going to take his guns away. Rather than expressing our anger against the police and insulting them we must work on ways to fight police brutality.

5 Ways to Fight Police Brutality

An ambush that resulted in the shooting deaths of three Pittsburgh policemen was precipitated by a 911 call from the gunman’s mother over a dog urinating in the house.

According to court papers, Richard Poplawski and his mother argued about his dog’s accident Saturday morning, prompting her to threaten to evict him and to call police.

Police have charged 23-year-old Poplawski with killing three officers and attempting to kill nine others during a four-hour siege.

Poplawski has been arraigned in a local hospital, where he’s recovering from gunshot wounds to his legs.

Police say Poplawski was heavily armed and wearing a bulletproof vest when he killed the first two officers on sight. His mother opened the door for police, saw the shootings and then fled to the basement.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A gunman wearing a bulletproof vest and armed with an assault rifle held police at bay for hours as their fallen officers were left bleeding nearby, their colleagues unable to reach them.

When it was over four hours later, three officers were dead and more than 100 rounds had been fired by SWAT teams and the gunman on the quiet Pittsburgh street, police said.

Saturday’s slayings occurred just two weeks after four police officers were fatally shot in Oakland, Calif., in the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.

“This is a solemn day and it’s a very sad day in the city of Pittsburgh,” Police Chief Nate Harper said. “We’ve seen this kind of violence happen in California. We never would think this kind of violence would happen in the city of Pittsburgh.”

Richard Poplawski, 23, was charged with three counts of homicide, aggravated assault and a weapons violation. He had gunshot wounds in his legs but was otherwise unharmed because he was wearing a bulletproof vest, Harper said.

Poplawski opened fire on two officers responding to a 7 a.m. domestic violence call from Poplawski’s mother, police said. Officers Paul Sciullo III, 37, and Stephen Mayhle, 29, were fatally shot in the head.

“It appears he was lying in wait for the officers,” Harper said.

Eric Kelly, 41, a 14-year veteran of the force on his way home after completing his overnight shift heard the call for help and rushed to the scene. He also was shot and killed.

SWAT teams and other officers arrived and were also fired upon.

Don Sand, who lives across the street from Poplawski, said he was woken up by the sound of gunfire. Hunkering down behind a wall in his home, he saw the first two officers go down and then saw Kelly get shot.

“They couldn’t get the scene secure enough to get to them. They were just lying there bleeding,” Sand said. “By the time they secured the scene enough to get to them it was way too late.”

Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson, who lives nearby, was one of the first officers to arrive. He saw Mayhle by a bush to the right of the door; Kelly was in the street.

Another officer, Timothy McManaway, who had been shot in the hand, was kneeling beside him, yelling that Kelly needed help.

Donaldson suggested using a police van to get them. They draped a bulletproof vest on the window to protect the driver and several officers got into the van to get Kelly and McManaway.

During this time, Poplawski was somehow distracted, Donaldson said.

“We were fortunate that he didn’t fire on us. I don’t know why he was distracted, but he apparently didn’t see us coming down to get them,” he said. “It could have been worse.”

Poplawski had feared “the Obama gun ban that’s on the way” and “didn’t like our rights being infringed upon,” said Edward Perkovic, his best friend.

Perkovic, 22, said he got a call at work from him in which he said, “Eddie, I am going to die today. … Tell your family I love them and I love you.”

Perkovic said: “I heard gunshots and he hung up. … He sounded like he was in pain, like he got shot.”

Poplawski had once tried to join the Marines, but was kicked out of boot camp after throwing a food tray at a drill sergeant, Perkovic said.

Another longtime friend, Aaron Vire, said Poplawski feared that President Barack Obama was going to take away his rights, though he said he “wasn’t violently against Obama.”

Vire, 23, said Poplawski once had an Internet talk show but that it wasn’t successful. He said Poplawski owned an AK-47 rifle and several powerful handguns, including a .357 Magnum.

Obama has said he respects Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms, but that he favors “common sense” gun laws. Gun rights advocates interpret that as meaning he would approve some curbs on assault and concealed weapons.

Poplawski had been laid off from his job at a glass factory earlier this year, said another friend, Joe DiMarco. DiMarco said he didn’t know the name of the company, but knew his friend had been upset about it.

Watch a News Report on the Incident

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