A police officer in Virginia has been placed on leave and recommended for termination following reports that he is a member of the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Monday.
Chesterfield County Police Chief Jeffrey Katz recommended that Daniel Morley, a 31-year-old school resource officer at L.C. Bird High School in Virginia, be fired after Morley joined a growing list of public employees who have been identified in a gargantuan leak of Identity Evropa’s chat logs.
“At this point, the officer in question has been removed from his position as a school resource officer and has been administratively suspended from the police department pending a recommendation from Col. Jeffrey Katz for termination,” the police department said in a statement to the paper.
“We are concerned and committed to determining if there is any truth to these allegations,” Katz said. “There is absolutely no place for intolerance or prejudicial behavior in public service, and we will not tolerate affiliations which even remotely lend themselves to predispositions of bias.”
According to the HuffPost, Morley holds a side gig as an organizer for Identity Evropa (also known as the “American Identity Movement”) where he was reportedly tasked with helping new recruits through the application process.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Identity Evropa played a role in organizing the deadly Unite the Right rally in 2017, which drew hundreds of white nationalist and white supremacist demonstrators to Charlottesville, Va.
Morley was first identified by anti-fascist activists scouring through more than 700,000 of the group’s chat messages leaked by Unicorn Riot, an independent media organization.
According to The Daily Beast, he posted on the white nationalist group’s private chat server since at least 2017 using the moniker “Danimal876.”
“Good afternoon newcomers to IE! I’m the new pledge coordinator,” he wrote in September, according to the Daily Beast. “My job is to help guide people through the process of applying to IE and becoming full members of this great organization. If you have any questions about what you need to do next, DM me and I’ll get back to you.”
In August of 2018, the Chesterfield County Police Department posted a video of Morley, in which he introduced himself as the high school’s new resource officer.
— Capt. Andrea Riesmeyer (@ARiesmeyer) August 27, 2018
“I want to ensure that the children of this county get to have the same safe childhood that I did growing up,” he says in the short clip.
HuffPost reported exclusively this week that seven members of the U.S. military were working directly with Identity Evropa, helping the group recruit on campuses and in cities across the country. There’s been reporting on the group’s efforts to support prominent white supremacists in office like Iowa Rep. Steve King; legitimize itself and recruit through college groups like Turning Point USA; and even infiltrate the GOP head-on.
Since Unicorn Riot’s drop, Identity Evropa attempted to rebrand by renaming itself the “American Identity Movement.”