Police investigating a stolen vehicle in the Denver suburb of Englewood on February 23, 2012, unexpectedly found themselves facing an armed white supremacist with a history of violence—an encounter that eventually turned fatal.
Jeremiah Barnum’s Colorado Department of Corrections photo
Source: Denver Westword
In 1997, Barnum had briefly been infamous in Denver, after he and another white supremacist, Nathan Thill, were arrested for the brutal hate crime murder of an African immigrant, Oumar Dia. Thill eventually pleaded guilty in return for a sentence of life without parole. Barnum was initially convicted of murder, but his conviction was overturned by a judge. He eventually pleaded guilty to accessory to murder and received a 12-year sentence. During his stint in prison, he frequently appeared on lists of “Aryan Prisoners of War” circulated by white supremacists to get support for imprisoned fellow racists. He also became a member of the 211 Crew, a Colorado-based racist prison gang (Thill also became a 211 Crew member).
This shooting incident was merely the latest in a long string of confrontations across the country in which shots were fired between police and adherents of extremist movements. Since 2009, ADL has identified some 24 such incidents, most of them related to white supremacists or anti-government extremists.