An Indiana police officer who posted frequently on a now-defunct neo-Nazi forum has been fired after his online predilections were exposed.
Officer Joseph Zacharek, who joined the Lafayette Police Department in June, admitted to his supervisors that the posts on Iron March were his, the police department announced Saturday.
Zacharek’s ties to the site, which was taken down in 2017, never came up in a background check.
“I know the question everyone will have is, how does something like this get missed in a background investigation,” Police Chief Pat Flannelly told the Journal & Courier. “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.”
Zacharek was initially outed by a Twitter account called “Ghosts of Past,” which, according to its bio, is run by a “boring white Southern suburban housewife who likes to dox facists and racists.”
Among the posts gathered from an online database, Zacharek, who registered on Iron March under the username “Panzerleiter,” wrote that “a country that allow(s) any white immigration while denying any lesser races is the most ideal and lasting solution.”
Zacharek also wrote that working as an EMT in “Inner City … really opened (his) eyes to the diseased culture of #blacks and #progressives more generally.”
The Lafayette Police Department said Zacharek’s “comments were not in harmony with the spirit of cooperation and inclusion in the community that the Lafayette Police Department values.”
“We take great pride in our investigations and are extremely disappointed that we were not able to uncover this information in that process,” Flannelly said in a statement. “We endeavor to learn from this investigation to ensure it never happens again.”
A spokesperson for the department did not immediately return a request for comment about whether the LPD’s background checks will change after Zacharek’s exposure.
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