BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Watchdog groups say the public backlash against police shootings of black people is helping fuel the growth of black hate groups.
The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center says it counted 180 black extremist groups in the United States last year. That’s 60 percent more than before the protests over the killing of a black man by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
The law center’s Heidi Beirich says people are drawn to the groups partly because of anger over police violence, and the Anti-Defamation League agrees. But the Jewish protection group says it’s difficult to say exactly how many such groups exist, or to estimate their membership.
The man identified by authorities as killing five Dallas police officers last week had liked several black extremist groups on Facebook.