Washington, November 29 (RHC)-- In the United States, one of the largest Black organizations for Law Enforcement Executives has called the Federal Bureau of Investigation's label of "Black Identity Extremists" or BIE as damaging as it might lead to the vilification of Black communities in the United States.
The term BIE first surfaced in FBI's counter-terrorism division's assessment report, which described the group as a violent, growing, racially motivated movement. The report came out just nine days before the violent white supremacist Charlottesville rally in August. Referring to the 2014 Ferguson anti-police brutality protests spurred by Michael Brown's death, the report first cited by Foreign Policy, stated: "The FBI assesses it is very likely Black Identity Extremist (BIE) perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence."
The shocking report talks of a "B.I.E. ideology," further anticipating that "perceptions of unjust treatment of African-Americans and the perceived unchallenged illegitimate actions of law enforcement will inspire premeditated attacks against law enforcement."
Clarence Cox, president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executive, NOBLE, told Mic.com: "Basically they were saying [the Black identity extremist label] was designed for officer safety." Cox referred to the conversations between Black law enforcement leaders and FBI officials, saying: "My pushback was that the majority of the folks that they referred to in that document were either dead or incarcerated, so I didn’t see the value of law enforcement safety with that document."
Cox along with other major U.S. Black organizations, the NAACP, and members from the Congressional Black Caucus are planning to ask the FBI to trash the term that reminds them of the FBI's COINTELPRO — a program that unjustly targeted Black communities. "I didn’t feel that this BIE intelligence was healthy for the conscience of our country and, particularly, of African-Americans,” Cox told mic.com. "It reminds me so much of what we went through as African-Americans, or what civil rights leaders went through, when they were unconstitutionally targeted by state, federal and local agencies."
Over 748 people have been shot and killed by police so far in 2017, including at least 168 African-Americans. NOBLE will soon publish a report detailing the issues with the BIE label and its own assessment on the issue.
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