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At least 28 law enforcement officers from across the United States attended the Trump rally in Washington, D.C., on January 6 that led to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, with some even boasting on social media about taking part in the riot that left five people dead. BuzzFeed News investigative reporter Albert Samaha says off-duty police officers’ involvement in the insurrection reflects a growing problem of right-wing radicalization in police ranks — a problem Black officers say has gone unaddressed by higher-ups. Samaha says that while “white supremacist ideology in law enforcement is as old as law enforcement in the U.S.” there was a marked change in tone and attitudes among police officers following the 2014 Ferguson uprising against police brutality. He says that Donald Trump’s loud support for police against claims of misconduct and systemic violence gave officers new license to express bigoted and extremist views. “The top came off, and the rhetoric suddenly became acceptable within locker rooms,” he says.

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