Rookie police officer fired after links to ‘Iron March’ neo-Nazi group emerge

Zacharek’s account bio expressed his interest “in (National Socialist) economics as a way of throwing off the chains of usury and Jewish-owned banking.”

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The Lafayette Police Department (LPD) in Lafayette, Indiana fired a rookie officer one day after his links to a defunct neo-Nazi forum were exposed on social media.

Local media reported that Officer Joseph Zacharek, a U.S. army veteran who was hired by the LPD in June, had been an active member of Iron March.

Police Chief Pat Flannelly said in a public statement, “We saw the information come over our Twitter feed last night and launched an immediate investigation.”

The online group was described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “an influential gathering place for young neo-Nazis and neo-fascists who eyed the Western world with intentions of triggering race war on a global scale.”

Iron March stopped operating in 2017, but personal information about its registered users was leaked online in 2019.

LPD was informed by social media users that Zacharek’s Iron March account bio expressed his interest “in (National Socialist) economics as a way of throwing off the chains of usury and Jewish-owned banking.”

He also made comments about “the vile ‘culture’ of the African” and stated that he “learned that everything I had been taught on race had been a flimsy fabrication which was not supported by real-world evidence.”

“I know the question everyone will have is, how does something like this get missed in a background investigation,” LPD Police Chief Patrick Flannelly told local media.

“How is it possible and how do we prevent this from ever happening again? I’m not going to sugar-coat this. Ultimately, it’s my responsibility. We missed it.”

Flannelly praised sharp-eyed social media users for bringing Zacharek’s ties to the attention of the LPD. “So we’re appreciative of whoever did that research, however they came across it,” he said.

“We would have never hired him in the first place if we’d uncovered that in the background investigation.”

Flannelly said he was surprised the LPD hadn’t discovered Zacharek’s comments during the hiring process.

“In the last six months, I’ve heard people saying those things and post things like that publicly, and I’ve always been very confident that our process would catch that,” he said.

“And it didn’t. We’re going to have to go back to the drawing board and deal directly with our screening process. This is unacceptable.”

Lieutenant Matt Gard, a spokesperson for the LPD, said that Zacharek had been in his training period and had not had contact with the public as a uniformed police officer before the links were discovered.