December 1, 1997
ADL: "Skinheads Continue to Pose Threat to Communities in this Country."
Issues Backgrounder Following Denver Incident.
New York, NY. ...Recent neo-Nazi Skinhead activity
in Denver, including the murders of a policeman and a West African man,
underscores the need for constant vigilance when dealing with extremist
groups that espouse violence and racial hatred. The Denver situation demonstrates
that Skinheads continue to pose a threat to communities in this country.
Neo-Nazi Skinheads have been responsible for at least 43 murders across
the nation, most of which have occurred since 1990. A majority of their
murder victims have been members of minority groups: Hispanics, Blacks,
and Asians. Some deaths have resulted from in-group violence with Skinheads
killing fellow gang members. Skinheads have also committed thousands of
other crimes: beatings, stabbings, shootings, thefts, synagogue desecrations
and other forms of mayhem and intimidation.
In recent years, the number of Skinheads in this country has remained
static, ranging from 2,500 to 3,500 members in 40 states. There is no single
national Skinhead organization in the United States. Instead, loosely linked
networks of Skinhead gangs operate in scattered communities. Over the years,
however, the Skinheads have tried to hook up with more organized racists
and anti-Semites, including the Ku Klux Klan and old-line hate groups such
as Aryan Nations, the Church of the Creator, and Tom Metzger's White Aryan
Resistance (WAR). They have also begun to use the Internet to recruit youngsters
and to spread their neo-Nazi propaganda. Those attracted to the movement
are almost uniformly white youths between the ages of 13 and 25.
A sample of violent incidents involving neo-Nazi Skinheads over the
last two years:
Two neo-Nazi Skinhead soldiers from Fort Bragg were convicted for the December
1995 murder of a Black couple in Fayetteville, NC
Two Skinhead brothers brutally murdered their mother and father in Allentown,
PA in 1995.
A Skinhead in Dallas shot and permanently paralyzed a Black motorist in
A gang of Skinheads from Florida kidnapped a man on Long Island, NY and
robbed and murdered him in 1995. When the Skinheads were captured, they
were armed with assault rifles, a shotgun, and a pellet gun.
A Black musician was stabbed by a Skinhead in Ventura, CA as he and a white
woman sat on a pier in 1995.
Despite their static numbers, the Skinhead propensity toward violence
must be a priority concern of law enforcement and communities across the
nation. The arrest and imprisonment of many of the original Skinheads involved
in violent incidents over the past decade point up law enforcement's effectiveness
in bearing down on violent Skinhead activity, inhibiting its growth and
causing it to disappear in some communities. The Anti-Defamation League
has asked the Justice Department to utilize its recently established regional
US Attorney-led police community hate crimes task forces to vigorously
investigate and prosecute violent hate groups.
EDITORS NOTE: For material on neo-Nazi Skinheads, including Danger:
Extremism, and to arrange interviews with ADL experts contact the ADL
Media Relations Department.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.