White Supremacist Group Awarded Acts of Violence With Tattoos, Indictment Says

A white supremacist group awarded acts of violence committed by members tattoo "patches," the Associated Press reported. The acts of violence included assaulting peaceful demonstrators at a racial justice protest last summer, according to a federal racketeering indictment of 16 group members in Florida.

The group, Unforgiven, attempted to use corrupt law enforcement officers and state employees to gather information on members, learn about investigations into the group and smuggle contraband to inmates, according to an indictment made public Thursday in federal court in Tampa.

The 16 alleged Unforgiven members are facing 12 charges, including assault, kidnapping and conspiracy.

This is a breaking news story, more will be added as the Associated Press updates.

White Supremacist Group Awards Violence
Jonathan Gartrelle (left), participating in a protest against police brutality, confronts a demonstrator taking part in a counter demonstration advertised as a Law and Order Rally that was also supporting President Donald Trump on June 14, 2020, in Miami, Florida. A white supremacist group, Unforgiven, awarded their members with tattoo "patches" for committing acts of violence against peaceful protestors for racial justice. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Members perceived "a constant and almost brutal victimization of whites" in Florida's prison system, including at Columbia Correctional Institution in Lake City, Florida, the indictment said.

In order to join the group, members, who went by nicknames such as "Scumbag," "Hammer" and "Pretty Boy," were required to study "Aryan Philosophy" and commit acts of violence, the indictment said.

Members were expected to be "battle-ready" and promote "a climate of fear" through threats of violence. Members also were required to take an oath to the group's own constitution, and those who didn't follow the rules outlined in the constitution were kidnapped and assaulted, according to the indictment.

Group meetings were referred to as attending "church," and the group had secret hand signs and code words, the indictment said.

Two of the defendants appeared Thursday in court as they entered not-guilty pleas and were appointed attorneys. A hearing for other defendants was scheduled for Friday afternoon.

White Supremacist Group Awards Violence
Sixteen alleged members of a white supremacist group are charged with assault for events that occurred during a protest last summer. Above, demonstrators take part in the Law and Order Rally that was also supporting President Donald Trump on June 14, 2020, in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images