The Lafayette Police Department's official Twitter account announced it will investigate one of its recent hires after a series of tweets alleged the officer was formerly a member of neo-Nazi message board Iron March.
LPD Lt. Matt Gard confirmed Saturday morning that Officer Joseph Zacharek, the officer named in the posts, is under investigation.
The officer's name was linked to the message board account by an unverified Twitter user, @Ghosts_of_Past, who joined in October and whose bio says she "likes to dox fascists and racists." The user appears to have found an email address containing the officer's name that is tied to an Iron March account that allegedly posted several times in 2016 under a pseudonym.
Meet #JosephZacharek, newest member of Indy PD. Member of #IronMarch, the forum for #Neonazis and #WhiteSupremacists. He is "fully" a Nazi ("NatSoc"), and regrets "previously fool[ing] himself into believing all races are equal." Huzzah on the new job!https://t.co/qKdPLQOGny— Sound the Alarm (@Ghosts_of_Past) October 16, 2020
The person alleged to be the officer posted he was "exposed to the vile 'culture' of the African and learned that everything I had been taught on race had been a flimsy fabrication which was not supported by real world evidence."
The officer being investigated was hired on June 12, according to a press release posted to LPD's website. Zacharek is from Edwards, New York, according to the release, and attended Penn State University before serving in the Army for three years as a tank crewman.
"Joseph has served his whole life and wants to continue," LPD states in the June press release. "He visited Lafayette and fell in love with the community."
In response to a tweet that referenced the original post, the blue-checkmark-verified LPD Twitter account replied saying the department will launch an investigation.
We appreciate this information being brought to our attention. An investigation into these allegations will commence immediately. There is no room for hate at LPD. We will get to the truth.— LafayetteINPolice (@LafayetteINPD) October 17, 2020
"We appreciate this information being brought to our attention," it said. "An investigation into these allegations will commence immediately. There is no room for hate at LPD. We will get to the truth."
Managing Editor Jordan Smith contributed reporting to this story.