Accused cop-killer Richard Poplawski spent hours posting racist messages on an extremist right-wing Web site, decrying blacks and Latinos and warning of forthcoming economic collapse fueled by the “Zionist occupation” of America, an expert in political extremism has determined. Earlier, he had praised the “AK” rifle as his ideal weapon.
It was an AK-47 that police say Mr. Poplawski used to gun down three Pittsburgh police officers who arrived at his house Saturday morning in the midst of a domestic dispute.
An account kept on Stormfront, a gathering place for racial extremists and others from the far-right show Mr. Poplawski’s increasing belief in a coming economic and political collapse in the days leading up to the time of the deadly standoff in which he is charged with killing three Pittsburgh police officers.
Details of Mr. Poplawski’s extreme racial and political views came to light today when the top researcher at the Anti-Defamation League delved into his postings at Stormfront, a white supremacist Web site run by a former Ku Klux Klan leader in Florida.
Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research for the ADL, said Mr. Poplawski was logged on to Stormfront four hours before Saturday’s deadly shooting spree. The ADL today revealed the Poplawski Stormfront account, which was in addition to another one in which he showed photographs of his American eagle tattoo — a piece of body art that also connected him to the second account in which he expounded on race. Mr. Pitcavage said he explored the Poplawski account after learning of his extremist beliefs in a Sunday article in the Post-Gazette.
The same conclusions linking Mr. Poplawski to the Stormfront site were reached by Jake Bialer, a 20-year-old computer student at Reed College in Portland, Ore. Mr. Bialer previously did computer research for online publications as well as political campaigns.