Friday, May 30, 2014

Layton man went undercover in the KKK


Layton man went undercover in the KKK

LAYTON -- Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.
Retired police Sgt. Ron Stallworth’s story — about how he, a black undercover cop, infiltrated one of the nation’s most notorious hate groups in 1978 — is one such truth. Stallworth, 61, recently released the book “Black Klansman,” detailing his amazing story during his early years of service.
“I was sitting in my office reading the newspaper,” Stallworth, who now lives in Layton, said. “I was going through the classified section, and on this particular day there was an ad that said ‘Ku Klux Klan.’”
It listed a post office box to send inquiries, and so he wrote a letter, identifying himself as a white man and peppering the note with racial slurs. The undercover Colorado officer, who was still in his 20s at the time, did make one crucial mistake, however: He signed the letter with his real name. He wasn’t too worried, though, since he figured the whole setup was probably a joke.

It wasn’t until he got a phone call a week later from the local KKK organizer about starting a Colorado Springs chapter that he realized how serious the ad was.
Stallworth told the man that his sister was dating a “n--ger,” and how mad it made him. The organizer liked his story and figured that Stallworth was exactly what the new chapter needed. He asked to meet-which was obviously a problem. But the quick-thinking officer gave a description of one of his close friends, who worked in the narcotics division, and organized a meeting for the following week.
Stallworth’s friend Chuck would play “the white Ron Stallworth.”

“The funny thing is that Chuck’s voice [was] totally distinctive [from] mine,” Stallworth said. He was only questioned about the different voices once — and he successfully blamed the flub on a sinus infection.

There was only one other time when Stallworth’s cover was almost blown: after his supervisor assigned him to be then-Grand Wizard David Duke’s bodyguard.
“[Duke] was planning a publicity blitz in Colorado Springs. He was coming into town to do interviews and try to drum up interest,” Stallworth said. “I got assigned to be his bodyguard because there were death threats against him.”

At the time, Stallworth was having fairly regular phone conversations with at least three Klansmen, including David Duke. “I was apprehensive that they would recognize my voice,” the retired officer said.

Stallworth remembered how seemingly amiable Duke was. He was likable enough and intelligent, a great orator, and never used slurs about black people or wore his robe. The Grand Wizard even shook Stallworth’s hand and thanked him.

“He was changing the face of the whole Ku Klux Klan,” Stallworth said, describing Duke as the type of man a girl would love to take home to her mother.

One moment between the two almost went south, however, when Stallworth had someone take a photo of him with Duke and the Grand Dragon, even putting his arm around both men. It obviously upset Duke, who tried to snatch the camera. Stallworth and Duke faced off. “If you touch me,” Stallworth said to the Grand Wizard, “I’ll arrest you for assaulting a police officer, and that’s worth five years in prison.”

Stallworth recalled, “I was thinking about all our forefathers and foremothers who [were] dealing with racists like this throughout the generations, who lacked power, who lacked authority, who were at the mercy of idiots like this and could do nothing to stop it because of the power of the Klan,” he said pointedly. “But on this particular occasion, I had the power, I was the authority and the Klan was at my mercy.”

Duke eventually backed down and walked away. As Stallworth put it, he was the supremacist’s greatest fear: “a n----- with a gun.”
Stallworth’s life has never really been stereotypically “normal”; his Klan infiltration epitomized his unusual approach to life.

At just 19 years old, he moved from Texas to Colorado Springs, joining the police force via a cadet program designed to bring more minorities into the department. He was the first black cadet to enter the program. At 22 he became the first black detective, the youngest in the history of the department, "he said". Ron Stallworth also has a twitter account and you can connect with him here to find out the latest news or interview.

Meanwhile, he was just trying to save up enough money so that he could go to college to get a degree and become a physical education teacher. However, in the end, Stallworth was having too much fun as an officer, and he also realized he’d be making way more money than he would as a teacher.
One of his first undercover assignments was to look into Black Panther activist Stokely Carmichael. His supervisors told him to blend in and listen to Carmichael’s speech and then report anything interesting. Ron Stallworth has a viral rap video on YouTube
Watch this

Sgt. Ron Stallworth, Ret. Black Klansman Viral Rap Video

“It was my first brush with living black history,” Stallworth says. “He was a fiery, bombastic speaker. He had a special way of speaking, and he could fire up a crowd like nobody’s business.”
Stallworth’s Klan investigation ended after about seven months because he was so good at his job that “the local organizer had the idea that they needed someone who was a resident of Colorado

Springs to assume the duties,” he says. “They took a vote at one of their meetings, and by unanimous vote they had determined that they wanted Ron Stallworth to become the new local organizer because he was a ‘loyal and dedicated Klansman.’ “
Stallworth wanted to go for it, but the higher-ups weren’t as thrilled. “The chief panicked and said, ‘I want you to shut this investigation down now. I want you to stop sending Chuck to meetings, stop answering the undercover phone line. I want the undercover phone line changed, and I want Ron Stallworth the Klansman to disappear.’ “

The chief also ordered Stallworth to destroy all reports from the investigation. Stallworth tried to argue against closing down the operation, but his efforts were in vain.
What Stallworth didn’t do, however, was destroy all the reports.

“I took the notebooks ... and I walked out of the office with them under my arm and put them in the car. I drove home with them, and they’ve remained with me over the past 35 years, and that’s what I based my book on.“For one thing, I recognized that I had done something quite significant. I had penetrated the Ku Klux Klan as a black man,” he continued. “To the best of my knowledge, no one had ever done that before. I have a membership card that I carry in my wallet that identifies me as a member of the [Klan]; I have a certificate of membership signed by Duke, certifying me as a member of his [Klan]; and if I had destroyed the information ... if I had told the story after that, nobody would ever have believed [me] ... because there was no evidence.”

It is believed that during Stallworth’s stint with the Klan, he prevented at least three cross burnings from occurring by upping security in those neighborhoods whenever the Klan invited him on one of their excursions.

The same day the chief told him to stop the investigation, the phone that he used for undercover work rang again and again, but Stallworth obeyed orders and didn’t answer.

“That very night, a cross burned in front of the nightclub where Carmichael had spoken three years earlier,” he said. Stallworth believes the phone call was one of his “Klan buddies” inviting him to a burning


Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Viral Rap Video about the KKK
erupts! on YouTube
YouTube Link
Sgt. Ron Stallworth, Ret. and author of
Black Klansman

About the Author of Black Klansman: 

Sgt. Ron Stallworth, Ret.

Sergeant Ron Stallworth, (Ret.) is a 32-year law enforcement veteran who began his career in 1972 at the age of 19 with the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD). In 1975 he became the first Black detective in the history of the CSPD as well as the youngest at the age of 22. He worked undercover narcotics, vice, criminal intelligence and organized crime. During this time, he initiated the investigations which are the subject of this book. He later served a one-year assignment as an investigator with the Colorado Attorney General’s Organized Crime Strike Force. He left the CSPD in 1980.
From 1980-82, Sergeant Stallworth worked narcotics and organized crime intelligence in Phoenix, Arizona for the Arizona Drug Control District (later known as the Arizona Criminal Intelligence Systems Agency). From 1982-86, Stallworth worked undercover narcotics as a Special Agent for the Wyoming Attorney General’s Division of Criminal Investigation.
In 1986, Sergeant Stallworth was hired as a Special Agent by the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Narcotics & Liquor Law Enforcement Bureau, later known as the Utah Division of Investigation. In 1989, he researched and authored the report that led to the creation of the Gang Narcotics Intelligence Unit, a joint effort between the Utah DPS and Salt Lake City Police Department. With the aid of federal grant money, that unit later evolved into the Salt Lake Area Gang Project now known as the Metro Gang Unit, the first multi-jurisdictional gang suppression and diversion unit in the state. From the recommendations contained in Sergeant Stallworth’s report, several other gang task forces later became operational in the state. The Utah Public Safety Commissioner later named Sergeant Stallworth the state’s Gang Intelligence Coordinator. He was the first, and to date, only person to hold this position.
While working gangs, Sergeant Stallworth began researching the correlation between gangster rap music and street gang culture. He subsequently wrote four books on the subject (two of which have been published) and has authored numerous articles for magazines and journals. In the 1990’s, Sergeant Stallworth testified at three congressional hearings on the subject of gangster rap music, gangs, and youth violence in America. In 1998, the National Gang Crime Research Center honored him with its prestigious “Frederick Milton Thrasher Outstanding National Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award.” Sergeant Stallworth was a consultant for the 2009 Gangland episode, “From Heaven to Hell,” about the Polynesian Tongan Crip Gang of Salt Lake City.
Sergeant Stallworth holds a BA in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia College (Salt Lake Campus). He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, University of Texas - El Paso, Utah State University, Weber State University, San Francisco State University, Westminster College (Salt Lake City), and Columbia College (Salt Lake City and Missouri campuses). Sergeant Stallworth was an Adjunct Criminal Justice Instructor at Salt Lake Community College from 2008-2013.  Ron was awarded a letter of commendation from the Colorado Attorney General during his year with the Organized Crime Strike Force.  He retired from the Utah Department of Public Safety in 2005 after a 20-year career during which he was a two-time recipient of the department’s Distinguished Service Award. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Black Utah man goes undercover as member of the Ku Klux Klan

Credit to Brian Carlson
  Black Utah man goes undercover as member of the Ku Klux Klan
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - A black Utah man is now talking about what some would consider the unthinkable. As an undercover officer he became a member of Ku Klux Klan. Thursday he spoke to Good 4 Utah's Brian Carlson about his experience.

"If looks could kill, I would not be here sitting talking to you today," said Ret. Sgt. Ron Stallworth, author of “Black Klansman.”

You wouldn't believe it unless former Utah police Sgt. Ron Stallworth told you himself. In 1979 he went undercover as a black member of the Ku Klux Klan.

"I did the talking on the phone, when they needed a face to face I would send in Chuck posing as me, or as I liked to refer to him as the white Ron Stallworth, he said.

With the help of another detective, while working in Colorado Springs, Stallworth gained the trust of the local KKK and convinced them to give him membership.

"They never once picked up on the fact that they were talking to two distinct voices," said Stallworth.

He had a card signed by David Duke himself. The Klan trusted him with their plans to commit crimes, and threaten African Americans by burning crosses, something Stallworth put a stop to three times during his investigation.

"One of the things I'm most proud of is no black child, no child period ever had to wake up to a burning cross," Stallworth said.

All documented in his recently released book “Black Klansman,” Stallworth got unprecedented access to one of America's most notorious hate groups.

"Why risk your personal safety?” Carlson asked.

“It was my job, it was my job," Stallworth said.

Over nine months he did it so well, the KKK considered him one of their most respected members.

"So they took a vote, they took a unanimous vote and they wanted Ron Stallworth to become the leader of the Ku Klux Klan chapter because he was quote loyal and a dedicated Klansman," he said.

There's a lot more experiences Carlson couldn't cover with the short time ABC 4 Utah has in the newscast, but they’re all in his book Black Klansman. If like to purchase the book, click on this link – Black Klansman. If you'd like to have Stallworth speak to your group or class about his stories, call him at 801-898-6953.