Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson knows he’s being watched. His sentiment would seem like paranoia if the FBI’s counter-terrorism division hadn’t leaked a list of “Black identity extremists.”
Given the bureau’s brutal history of involvement in the assassination of Black activist leaders, it comes as no surprise that members of the Congressional Black Caucus have requested a meeting with the bureau to determine the origin and intent of the report, NBC News reports.
While FBI representatives refused to “comment on intelligence products,” the bureau did release a statement to NBC about the intent behind the list: Our focus is not on membership in particular groups but on individuals who commit violence and other criminal acts.
While the FBI pretends that there is a national, coordinated effort to harm police officers, the bureau prematurely closes investigations into police shootings of Black men on a daily basis. The FBI recently closed its investigation into the shooting of Flint Farmer without charges, despite the officer’s admission to drinking beer before the shooting.
Given how busy the bureau must be investigating police shootings, it seems strange that they have the time to compile a list of dangerous Black activists. Black Caucus members criticized the bureau’s priorities in a letter sent in October:”The intelligence assessment, citing only a handful of incidents since 2013, has concluded with ‘high confidence’ that ‘Black Identity Extremists’ are likely to target law enforcement based on ‘perceptions of police brutality against African Americans.'” It seems that the bureau is the entity with the real perception problem.
The bureau’s perception problems have proven lethal in the not-so-distant past. Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond said as much in a letter to NBC News. “It’s the craziest report because it says that because you identify as black you are threat, which is outlandish and offensive and reminiscent of the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation, which targeted Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights leaders.”
A Congressional Black Caucus spokesperson told NBC News they were still working with the bureau to schedule a meeting.
SOURCE: NBC NEWS
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