How White Supremacist Cops Use 'Ghost Skins' to Stay Hidden—According to One Former Neo-Nazi

Frank Meeink, a former neo-Nazi who inspired the 1998 film American History X, is making people take a second look at the police. In an interview with The Daily Beast he alleged that white supremacists he formerly knew, are now cops.

Meeink opened up about his experience with "ghost skins," a practice white supremacists use to hide "overt displays of their beliefs to blend in" with the general public. According to Meeink, nationalist leaders with ties to law enforcement would often vet members of the neo-Nazi group he was affiliated with in the 80s and 90s, and some of his former associates are now policemen.

"I know that there are neo-Nazis who I used to run with who are now cops," Meeink said. "And that's just in my crew. Imagine how many neo-Nazis and white nationalists have been becoming cops? Three of the people in my crew alone became cops."

Meeink said nationalist leaders and high-ranking members of the Ku Klux Klan like David Duke would encourage young people within the organization to join the police force, and Meeink recalled one rally in the 90s when they were told to "cover up our swastikas, grow our hair out, and become cops."

How White Supremacist Cops Use  'Ghost Skins'
A Caucasian New York Police Department (NYPD) officer wearing a mask has his badge number covered up with a black strip of fabric in Columbus Circle on June 14, 2020. Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

"I know of at least three of the people at that meeting who became cops," he said.

Meeink claimed the purpose of neo-Nazis and other white supremacist hate groups joining the police force was primarily to disenfranchise people of color—Black people especially—by targeting them specifically during arrests and placing heavy charges on them that could potentially affect their rights.

"The Fourth Amendment is violated all the time by the cops, and in these meetings, they would say, 'Yeah—and when we become cops we'll get them on felonies so they can't vote.' That constantly went around," Meeink said. "We need to get all these white nationalists out of the police force. There are so many racist cops. And I know a lot of cops."

Meeink's claims appear to be in line with a 2006 FBI assessment that found a number of officers across the country were affiliated with white supremacist groups. The assessment concluded that neo-Nazi organizations and the KKK "historically engaged in strategic efforts to infiltrate and recruit from law enforcement communities."

The hate groups' infiltration within law enforcement has had an effect on the general population's view of the police, especially when it comes to race. A 2019 Pew Research Center survey found 84 percent of Black adults felt that Black people were treated less fairly than whites while 63 percent of white adults felt the same. The survey also found the majority of Blacks and whites thought similarly about the U.S. criminal justice biases against black people.