Imagine if you will, you being a person of color that learns you were arrested or assaulted by a cop who for a good chunk of his life before he became one was a neo-Nazi musician who playing in a band called Arresting Officers! You just might feel a way about that. So should your attorney who should question how fair your arrest was.
While his name was not mentioned, an article in the current edition of Rolling Stone about White supremacy in American policing makes reference to a former Philadelphia police officer and trainer who used to be in a well-known band associated with the neo-Nazi scene in the city.
“A Philadelphia cop played drums in a racist skinhead band through the mid- to late-Nineties before joining the police force, serving until his retirement a few years ago,” the article read, noting further that he did not respond to interview requests. While this was a vague reference in the article it is well known that Brian P. Haughton was the drummer for the ironically named band Arresting Officers before becoming a police officer for 21 years, later retiring and becoming a police trainer, a role that he is prominently in today.
Formed in 1987, Arresting Officers was a Philadelphia-based Oi!/RAC (Rock Against Communism) band that put out two albums for the German label Rock-O-Rama Records, a 7-inch for Street Rock N Roll, a sub-label for Rock-O-Rama. Both labels were known for releasing albums by neo-Nazi bands such as Skrewdriver before Rock-O-Rama was reportedly shut down in a 1994 police raid. Haughton also contributed to the band Break the Sword, which released an album on Resistance Records. This project included not only Joe Rowan, the lead singer of Nordic Thunder who was killed on his birthday in 1994, but also Scott Stedeford, a member of the Aryan Republican Army who was alleged to have conspired with Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh before he bombed the federal building there, and who committed a series of bank robberies in the Midwest from 1992 to 1994. Stedeford is reportedly due to be released from federal prison this summer after serving over twenty years for his role in those robberies.
Haughton graduated from the police academy in 1995 and embarked on a 21-year career as a Philadelphia police officer which included working on SWAT teams. When he retired from the force he became an instructor and now works with the Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network (MAGLOCLEN), which is part of a communication and information sharing network in law enforcement. Ironically while a police officer he was tasked to work the Democratic National Convention in 2016, which saw some controversy when Officer Ian Hans Lichterman was observed during a Black Resistance March sporting a tattoo of a German eagle beneath the word “Fatherland” on his left arm. Lichterman, who was cleared of any wrongdoing by Internal Affairs but is no longer a Philadelphia police officer saw earlier controversy when his name showed up in data from several neo-Nazi and Klan websites that were hacked and leaked.
The investigation Rolling Stone conducted revealed that police chiefs and unions frequently fail to address racism and White supremacy within in the ranks, thereby creating a climate where White supremacists have been free to infiltrate police forces and growing their numbers and influence.