A few weeks ago, an Oklahoma town hired its fourth police chief since the start of 2017. Well, now they’re be looking for a fifth. On Saturday night, the newly hired chief resigned amid questions about suspected ties to white supremacist groups. He claims, however, to have been the victim of an outrageous campaign of identity theft.
Last week, Rachel Knapp, a reporter for KXII in Sherman, Texas, was doing something a lot of reporters have been doing in the aftermath of the racist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia–checking out the Southern Poverty Law Center’s map of hate groups. She discovered only one hate group operating in Texoma–an independent record label called “ISD Records.” The ISD Website offered all manner of memorabilia and CDs aimed at white nationalists and racists.
ISD Records filed a certificate of ownership in Grayson County, Texas in 2004. That certificate was signed by a Bart Alsbrook of Denison, Texas. The name jumped out at Knapp and several others in the KXII newsroom, as a Bart Alsbrook had just been hired as interim police chief in Colbert, Oklahoma.
Alsbrook was serving as a reserve officer when he was named as interim chief on Tuesday. The town, located near the Texas border roughly an hour north of Dallas, had fired chief Frank Burrola and named Michelle Vannier as his successor. However, Vannier was not certified as an officer, so she only held the post until a permanent replacement was hired in May. That chief, in turn, resigned after just three days on the job. Alsbrook was tapped as interim chief, even though he was in the process of getting fully certified as a peace officer.
KXII got in touch with Alsbrook, who denied that he was the man behind the site. However, within hours of that conversation, ISD Records went offline. By that time, KXII had done more digging, and couldn’t find another Bart Alsbrook anywhere in the United States.
When asked to explain, Alsbrook said he’d gotten in a fight with some skinheads in the 1990s who stole his wallet. He claimed they’d used his name for a number of nefarious purposes over the years.
Later, KXII discovered that the SPLC had flagged a Bart Alsbrook as the Texas coordinator for Blood and Honour, a UK-based neo-Nazi outfit. This Alsbrook also operated NS88 Videos, which offered similar content to ISD Records. Notably, according to Raw Story, both sites sold patches for Combat 18, a neo-Nazi group suspected of murdering immigrants and non-whites. Records at the Grayson County courthouse showed the Bart Alsbrook listed as the owner of NS88 was the same Alsbrook behind ISD Records.
Colbert police chief Alsbrook denied any ties to NS88 as well. However, its Website went dark within hours of KXII calling him.
By Saturday night, police chief Alsbrook had resigned. In a text message with the Tulsa World, he claimed that racists had been “using my name for years on the Internet” to promote hate and racism. He claimed that his name had been “hijacked” by racists in retaliation for his willingness to confront them when they showed up at heavy metal concerts. When asked if he planned to take these racists who were supposedly using his name to court, Alsbrook said, “I wish I could.”
So either Alsbrook has been the victim of the screwing of the century, or has been outed for an egregious betrayal of his oath. In either case, the truth needs to come out.
(featured image: screenshot courtesy KXII)