Former member: Aryan Brotherhood all about crime

The Aryan Brotherhood began as a prison gang in the 1960s

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) — A former member of the white supremacist group, which the man who shot a Vancouver officer may be a member of, said the Aryan Brotherhood (AB) is all about crime.

The AB began as a prison gang in the 1960s, and now decades later, there are thousands of members.

Former Aryan Brotherhood member Jeremy speaks with KOIN 6 News' Chris Holmstrom, July 1, 2014. (KOIN 6)
Former Aryan Brotherhood member Jeremy speaks with KOIN 6 News’ Chris Holmstrom, July 1, 2014. (KOIN 6)

“It’s all about bullying. It’s all about what I can take from you. If you don’t like it, we are just going to stab you and have you beat off the yard. It is what it is,” said Jeremy, who was part of the AB for nearly 10 years.

He described the group as violent and primitive. In fact, Jeremy told KOIN 6 that in order to join, there needs to be a blood tie, meaning a person needs to kill someone or commit a violent hate crime.

Following violent attacks, the main focus of the group is money.

“It’s not about supremacy. It’s a business – that’s all it is. Anything – guns, dope, prostitution – what they can do to make money, that’s what they do,” said Jeremy.

James Todd Sapp, who is accused of shooting Vancouver Officer Dustin Goudschaal following a traffic stop on Monday, also identifies himself as a member.

According to court documents from several years ago, Sapp told police that he would not be housed with anyone of color and that he kept in touch with his brother behind bars.

However, it remains unknown why he allegedly shot Goudschaal. Portland State University Professor Randy Blazak, who researches hate crimes, said Sapp potentially was paying a debt for being protected by the AB while he was in prison.

“There’s also just sort of this general hostility against law enforcement, this ‘Us vs. Them’ mentality,” Blazak said. “When you’re in a gang, everyone who is not in the gang is somehow your opposition.”

Leaving the brotherhood though is not an easy feat, Jeremy said, especially when their motto is “blood in and blood out.”

“There’s no out and you really just have to come to the point that you are man enough to take a stand with what you will do in the future,” said Jeremy.

Sapp is expected back in court next week. He’s facing charges that include attempted murder.

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