Bend police car

Bend Police 

A Bend Police Department officer will be investigated for allegedly violating policy by wearing a keychain connected to a far-right group while in uniform on Saturday.

Bend Chief Mike Krantz did not identify the employee, though Cpl. Josh Spano is the officer seen in a photograph circulating on Reddit and Facebook. Attached to the front of Spano’s service vest is an item reading “molon labe” in Greek lettering, a phrase associated with the far-right Three Percenters militia.

The “molon labe” item and its letters appear to be larger than Spano’s name tag on his vest.

“I’m aware of the allegations posted around social media regarding one of our employees displaying an item that was inconsistent with our uniform, an item believed to be supportive of extremist ideologies” Krantz told The Bulletin.

Spano, 35, told The Bulletin the item in question is a keychain he has used while on duty throughout his 13-year career. He said he wears it to honor the oath of enlistment he took when he joined the military, and his fellow soldiers. He said before the recent uproar, no one had ever said anything about it.

He denied being part of the Three Percenters or any other anti-government group.

“I support none of it,” he said. “And if it wasn’t for people defending against that we’d have a whole lot more disorder right now than we already do.”

Spano said if the internal investigation determines his keychain is inappropriate to wear on duty, he will switch to using it for the keyring for his personal vehicle.

Spano was hired by the Medford Police Department in 2008, according to Oregon police records. In 2015, he transferred to the Bend Police Department and was promoted to corporal in 2019.

He is a former Army medic who served in combat in Iraq.

The Ancient Greek phrase “molon labe,” meaning “come and take them,” is often attributed to the Spartan King Leonidas when the Persian King called on the Spartan soldiers to lay down their arms. It has more recently been co-opted by pro-gun and extremist anti-government groups.

It’s also favored among some in law enforcement. Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin drew attention to it in 2015 when he set the phrase as his Facebook profile picture.

According to the Bend Police policy handbook, Bend officers are forbidden from wearing unauthorized items on their uniforms, as well as openly supporting political and social causes while on duty.

The officer uniform is meant to identify the wearer as a law enforcement officer and also a source of assistance in an emergency, the handbook states.

Krantz said ideologies that advocate for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government do not fall within the range of acceptable political beliefs an officer may hold.

“We stress there is no place in policing for extremism or violent ideologies,” Krantz said. “Those beliefs are incompatible with law enforcement. … Again, I don’t know if that’s what was going on in this case.”

Mayor Sally Russell said she’s aware of the matter and is glad human resources is looking into it.

“We should be cautious and not too quick to judge,” she said.

Spano recently applied to work at the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office. He requested a meeting with Sheriff Shane Nelson and met with him in late 2020, the office confirmed.

Reporter: 541-383-0325,

gandrews@bendbulletin.com

(7) comments

Phase Line Delta

A keychain, a frakking keychain. When did people become so weak-minded and petty? It's disgusting that supposedly mature and educated people will act like this.

'I was offended by a keychain with a Greek historical saying on it so I must now try to ruin his career. '

Grow up for frak sake.

And the Chief going along with this tripe, don't get me started. I am so glad I retired from LE when I did.

CardiacSpike

Corporal Josh Spano recently arrested Central Oregon Peacekeeper co-founder (and Iraq combat veteran) Michael Satcher. On his FB page Satcher goes into great detail in several long posts as to why he was arrested to include his investigation of Spano’s background afterward.

“Well, the officer who harassed me on Saturday is now being investigated for the non-regulation extremist patch he was wearing at the time…Of course, that investigation doesn't seem to include anything about his social media posts in which he shows off his "People to Kill" notebook, his various militia patches, the times he's literally talked about "hating" the US government, or the fact he was involved in a use of force incident in Medford where a Latinx m…

See More”

https://www.facebook.com/mike.satcher

Satcher, convicted of domestic violence with injury to a family member in Travis County, Texas, in 2010, is presently awaiting trial in Crook County on multiple criminal charges to include interfering with a police officer. He is also being sued by the City of Bend for over $3500 in Public Record Release fees after DA John Hummel, who leans kindly toward the Peacemakers, directed the City not to charge Satcher, who offers he is a journalist and that the fees should be waived. The Oregon ACLU is defending Mr. Satcher in this civil case.

One must ask if the unidentified complainant in Mr. Andrews’ story might not be either Satcher himself, or another “peacekeeper”?

That said, as a corporal the officer in question is a first line supervisor. As a supervisor it is in his job description to know and enforce department policy. Mr. Andrews accurately described the policy regarding what can and cannot be worn on the duty uniform and why. Given his military background and the Army’s similar policies regarding uniform wear, Spano seems to have ignored his supervisory responsibilities to include setting a poor example for his subordinates.

Bear in mind it was less than 60 days ago that Chief Mike Krantz put a new policy in place that requires ALL department employees to report wrongdoing / alleged policy violations. This in lieu of a BPD sergeant, who in an effort to cover for one of his K9 officer subordinates, attempted to deflect the damage the officer did to a new patrol car on a former civilian employee. Both the sergeant and the K9 officer were placed on administrative leave in lieu of an internal investigation.

If wearing the alleged keychain is a violation of BPD policy…why didn’t CPL Spano’s supervisor advise him of this and ensure the item was removed at least 59 days ago? Perhaps Mike Krantz can answer that given his new policy?

Finally, the Bulletin has yet to publish a story about Mr. Satcher’s arrest last Saturday. Perhaps because Garrett Andrews has long affiliated himself with the Peacekeepers to include, as DA Hummel has in the past, posting comments on their FB page? Not so long ago the Peacekeepers (Satcher in specific) excoriated Mr. Andrews for publishing COPK founder Luke Richter’s name and phone number, claiming such publication placed Richter in danger. Why? Richter was said to be acting as a faceless, nameless source of storylines for Mr. Andrews and the Bulletin.

The internal investigation of CPL Spano might be better conducted by an independent outside Party given the three-ring circus this entire affair has come to resemble. Especially as the apparent offended Party – Mike Satcher – is using his and the Peacekeeper FB pages to potentially libel the officer and/or influence the course of the investigation.

kindergentlerbend

From an Oct. 6, 2020, news report:

White supremacist extremists will remain the deadliest domestic terror threat to the United States, according to the Department of Homeland Security's first annual homeland threat assessment, which details a range of threats from election interference to unprecedented storms.

Since 2018, White supremacists have conducted more lethal attacks in the US than any other domestic extremist movement, demonstrating a "longstanding intent" to target racial and religious minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, politicians and those they believe promote multi-culturalism and globalization, according to the report.

"As Secretary, I am concerned about any form of violent extremism," wrote acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. "However, I am particularly concerned about white supremacist violent extremists who have been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks in recent years."

This, mind you, emantated from the Trump DHS and a Trump apppintee.

Since then, we have seen the largest outpouring of Americans into the streets of America--as many as 25,000,000 in thousands of towns and cities protesting the death of George Floyd. This massive outburst of people power was hugely peaceful. If you check out incidents of violence you will find the vast preponderance of these acts were carried out by the police--not only against demonstrators, but also against joiunalists.

sscamaro3

In what Alternative Reality do you exist in kinder?

Hugely Peaceful? Please convey that to citizens of Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis et al. who might disagree with your assessment.

Phase Line Delta

Define who and what a "white supremacist" is.

Thomas Who

Wonder if school teachers, administrators, or other public employees will be similarly investigated and disciplined for wearing or displaying items which support far left Marxist or terrorist groups such as Black Lives Matter, Antifa or Oregon Peacekeepers?

GerryOregon

Clueless , uneducated and uninformed statement. BLM is not a t"terrorist" organization. And Marxism is a economic system that he as nothing to do we ith any of this. The terrorists we need to worry about are Trump's minions and right wing extremists groups that violently attacked the Capitol on Jan 6th

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.