Local News


Threat of violent right-wing extremism very real in Nevada, report co-author says

Capitol Breach
Capitol riots
Posted at 6:20 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 08:56:07-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has not received any credible threats of violence ahead of Inauguration Day, but that doesn't mean they're not prepared for what could happen. And it doesn't mean the threat isn't very real for violent extremism in Nevada.

"The anger is there, it's building," said Ed Andrews, a former journalist and coauthor of a recent report on right-wing militia movements in Nevada. "There's no reason to think that people have calmed down or been sobered up by what happened last week."

RELATED: Joint Chiefs of Staff issue memo to all forces condemning 'sedition and insurrection'

In the wake of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week, the FBI is now warning of possible armed protests in all 50 states ahead of next week's inauguration.

The report titled "The Danger Within: Right-Wing Violence in Nevada" was published in October in the social justice think tank Political Research Associates. It lays out how many nationally known extremist groups like the Proud Boys, Three Percenters and Oath Keepers are all active in the state.

"I think we have every reason to be quite worried about Jan. 17 and then about Jan. 20," Andrews said.

The LVMPD has not received any credible threats of violence in Las Vegas but the agency is working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to monitor, vet and respond to anything that may arise.

RELATED: Idaho man turns himself in connection to U.S. Capitol riot

Meanwhile, there's continued fallout from the attack on the Capitol last week, with two Capitol police officers being suspended for their behavior during the riots and 10-15 more reportedly being investigated.

Andrews said Nevadans have reason to be concerned about some law enforcement being "too cozy" with some right-wing groups.

"That has been part of the strategy for people like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys to build those ties. I think they work very hard at that," Andrews said.

When asked how right-wing extremist groups build ties with law enforcement, Andrews said many are very friendly with law enforcement and are former military or law enforcement agents themselves.

"They make a point of going up to police at these events and talk to them, convey that they're on the same side," Andrews said.

RELATED: Pence tells governors 'our time' is coming to an end, promises 'seamless' transition moving forward

But Larry Hadfield with LVMPD said the local law enforcement agency monitors their own.

"We are one of the lead agencies in investigating our own, especially when it comes to the conduct and uses of force," he said, noting the department's officer-involved shooting protocol is something you wouldn't find anywhere else in the country.

Hadfield said the department has social media and conduct policies they constantly monitor.

"If any employee or anyone associated is in violation of those policies they are investigated," he said.

Hadfield did not say whether any officers were being investigated over the past week.

He did not say whether additional patrol officers would be added but said they have the resources available if necessary. Hadfield said there's no plan to add physical barriers to any government buildings in Las Vegas.