Racist Pittsburgh Triple Cop Killer Gets Death Penalty
Richard Poplawski, whose life was entwined with racism, firearms and violence before he fatally shot three police officers, should be executed for his crimes, a jury in Pittsburgh concluded last night.
It took the 12-member panel only two hours to unanimously choose between the death penalty or life in prison for 24-year-old Poplawski, who spent time on a neo-Nazi website a short time before his deadly 2009 gun battle.
Poplawski was a raving white supremacist, but the judge kept a lot of this evidence away from the jury because it was considered prejudicial.
The defense tried to garner some sympathy by explaining he was raised by bigots. I don’t like these emotional excuses for behavior, mostly because it implies that all people raised by bigots are criminals or killers. What then keeps others from becoming violent? Could it be something within you that chooses to be a better person?
The ADL has a story on him here.
Poplawski bought into the SHTF/TEOTWAKI conspiracy theories hook, line and sinker, even posting a link to Stormfront of a YouTube video featuring talk show host Glenn Beck talking about FEMA camps with Congressman Ron Paul. When the city of Pittsburgh got a Homeland Security grant to add surveillance cameras to protect downtown bridges, Poplawski told Stormfronters that it was “ramping up the police state.” He said, too, that he gave warnings to grocery store customers he encountered (but only if they were white) to stock up on canned goods and other long-lasting foods.
One of Poplawski’s favorite places for such conspiracy theories was the Web site of the right-wing conspiracy radio talk show host Alex Jones. Poplawski visited the site, Infowars, frequently, shared links to it with others, and sometimes even posted to it. One of his frustrations with the site, though, was that it didn’t focus enough on the nefarious roles played by Jews in all these conspiracies. “For being such huge players in the endgame,” he observed in a March 29, 2009 posting to Infowars, “too many ‘infowarriors’ are surprisingly unfamiliar with the Zionists.” Another time he was more hopeful, noting that “racial awareness is on the rise among the young white population.”