CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — Chesterfield County Police Chief Jeffrey Katz is recommending that a police officer accused of being a member of a white supremacist organization be fired, the department said late Monday afternoon.
“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 department said in a release.
However, before the officer can be fired, the department must follow the Law Enforcement Officers Procedural Guarantee Act, which Virginia law requires. The officer must be notified in writing of “all charges, the basis therefor and the action which may be taken.”
The officer then has five days to respond to the charges unless he agrees to a shorter period, officials said.
Last week, the Richmond Times-Dispatch received an email from someone who identified himself or herself as a member of the Colorado Springs, Colo., branch of antifa. The group is part of a national movement of autonomous, left-wing militant anti-fascist groups that resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations and other events in the United States.
The Colorado Springs branch alleged that Chesterfield officer Daniel Morley is a member of Identity Evropa, has been a neo-Nazi since 2006 and has posted comments on such websites as Stormfront, a white nationalist and white supremacist organization.
The group also claimed that Morley, a school resource officer for L.C. Bird High School, was a pledge coordinator for Identity Evropa, also known as American Identity Movement.
A family member reached late Monday said Morley was unavailable for comment.
Last Wednesday, The Times-Dispatch sent the email containing the allegations to Chesterfield police officials and asked the department about the officer.
“We are aware of the alleged affiliation and online activities of one of our officers and our Office of Professional Standards is actively investigating these claims,” Katz said earlier Monday, before sending a second email that said the officer was being suspended and recommended for termination. “We are concerned and committed to determining if there is any truth to these allegations. 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.”
In a text message, Katz said the officer was being interviewed Monday by the department’s Office of Professional Standards.
Last week, a reporter for The Times-Dispatch contacted the Colorado Springs chapter of antifa for further information about the group’s allegations, but the group did not respond to the request.
After seeing the newspaper’s story Monday, the group sent an email saying it didn’t reply “because we realized we jumped the gun and should have let Antifa Seven Hills handle it.” Antifascists of the Seven Hills is based in the Richmond area.
The Seven Hills group posted its findings Monday.
The organization said Morley has been a member of Identity Evropa since 2017 and has been responsible for guiding new applicants through the vetting process and becoming members.
Morley is the second local police officer to recently face an allegation linking him to white supremacists.
Last month, the Virginia Division of Capitol Police announced that Sgt. Robert A. Stamm had been placed on paid administrative leave pending a review of possible violation of department policy.
The Antifascists of the Seven Hills had posted on the group’s blog links to social media accounts in Stamm’s name and a description of his tattoos and interests listed under those accounts.
The activists on the blog post said Stamm’s social media activity suggests he follows the Asatru Folk Assembly. The blog says Stamm is friends with people who claim to be associated with the group, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a “hate group” blending Northern European paganism and ethnocentrism.
On Monday, a spokesman for the Capitol Police confirmed that Stamm remains on paid leave while the review continues.