REINEKE FORD   ||   NEWS UPDATES

US anti-Semitic attacks down before Kansas deaths

Comment: Off

In this Sunday, April 13, 2014 image from video provided by KCTV-5, Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, is escorted by police in an elementary school parking lot in Overland Park, Kan. Cross, 73, accused of killing three people in attacks at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City, is a known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader who was once the subject of a nationwide manhunt. (AP Photo/KCTV-5) MANDATORY CREDIT

In this Sunday, April 13, 2014 image from video provided by KCTV-5, Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, is escorted by police in an elementary school parking lot in Overland Park, Kan. Cross, 73, accused of killing three people in attacks at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City, is a known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader who was once the subject of a nationwide manhunt. (AP Photo/KCTV-5) MANDATORY CREDIT

In this March 12, 2014 photo, Reat Underwood, of Stillwell, Kan., performs a vocal audition for the 45th season of Theatre in the Park at Overland Park, Kan. Underwood along with his grandfather William Lewis Corporon were both killed by a gunman at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan., on Sunday, April 14, 2014. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, Susan Pfannmuller) LOCAL MEDIA OUT

In this undated photo provided by her family, Terri LaManno is seen. LaManno was killed Sunday, April 13, 2014, while visiting her mother at Village Shalom assisted living facility in Leawood, Kan. Avowed white supremacist Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, a Vietnam War veteran who founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in his native North Carolina and later the White Patriot Party, remains in jail in connection with opening fire with a shotgun and pistol outside a Jewish community center and the retirement complex. (AP Photo/Courtesy of The LaManno family via Kansas City Star)

FILE – In this April 17, 1984 file photo, Glenn Miller, leader of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, holds a news conference in Raleigh, N.C. Miller also known as Frazier Glenn Cross is suspected of fatally shooting two people Sunday afternoon in the parking lot behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, then driving to a retirement community where he shot a third person. He was arrested in an elementary school parking lot.(AP Photo/The News & Observer, File)

Buy AP Photo Reprints

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — A group monitoring anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. cautiously noted a sharp decline in such incidents less than two weeks before the fatal shootings over the weekend outside two Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City.

The contrast between the Anti-Defamation League’s 2013 audit and the Sunday attack that killed three people highlights what hate-group trackers say is a broader trend: more overall tolerance disrupted by periodic bursts of violence from a disenfranchised fringe.

“Because of their ability to strike fear in the entire Jewish community and the country, their impact is disproportionate to their occurrence,” said Mark Pitcavage, the ADL’s investigative research director. “Like any terrorist incident, they have the power to strike beyond the immediate victim.”

An avowed white supremacist is accused in the attacks outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and a nearby Jewish retirement home in Overland Park, Kan. The suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross, is a 73-year-old Vietnam War veteran from southwest Missouri who founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in his native North Carolina and later the White Patriot Party.

Cross remained jailed Tuesday. It was unclear when formal charges would be filed against Cross, who shouted “Heil Hitler” at television cameras as he was arrested. Officials said Monday that a federal grand jury is expected to consider what investigators are calling a hate crime.

In a report April 1, the Anti-Defamation League noted a 19 percent drop in anti-Semitic incidents last year compared to 2012, part of what the group called a “decade-long downward slide” and one of its lowest tallies since it started keeping such records in 1979.

ADL director Abraham Foxman noted that while the overall number of anti-Semitic incidents had declined, the number of anti-Semitic assaults in 2013 was nearly twice as high as those tallied the previous year. Still, he called the audit’s overall findings — which included reports of assaults, vandalism, harassment and bullying — a “reflection of how much progress our country has made in shunning bigotry and hatred.”

But he acknowledged that by Monday, as the first night of the Jewish festival of Passover approached and the Kansas City area remained stunned by the shootings, the report’s positive findings seemed tragically obsolete.

“So the statistics are good, and then you wake up in the morning and three people are dead because someone believed them to be Jews,” Foxman said.

None of Sunday’s victims was Jewish. Dr. William Lewis Corporon, 69, and his grandson Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, were at the community center for a singing contest audition, while 53-year-old Terri LaManno was visiting her mother at the retirement complex.

The Southern Poverty Law Center also monitors, to varying degrees, the activities of hundreds of known white supremacists and anti-Semites at any given time. The Alabama-based group and the ADL said Monday that they were particularly familiar with Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller.

After a 1986 contempt-of-court conviction in North Carolina for operating a paramilitary camp, Cross went into hiding while free on bond and fled to Missouri. There, federal agents found him and several other men in a rural mobile home stocked with hand grenades, automatic weapons and thousands of bullets.

Indicted on weapons charges and accused of plotting robberies and the assassination of SPLC founder Morris Dees, Cross served three years in federal prison but avoided a longer sentence in exchange for testifying against more than a dozen other KKK leaders.

His move to southern Missouri placed him

Comments

comments

About the Author