A Virginia police officer assigned to a high school is involved in onboarding new members for a white nationalist group, leaked chat logs reveal.
Daniel Morley, 31, is a police officer at L.C. Bird High School in Chesterfield, Virginia. He’s also an organizer for Identity Evropa, a white nationalist group. In the group’s leaked chat messages, first highlighted by Virginia anti-fascists on Monday, Morley discussed ways to downplay appearances of racism, while still promoting white nationalism.
Morley is suspended while Chesterfield County Police Department investigates the allegations, the department announced Monday.
“The Chesterfield County Police Department is aware of the alleged affiliation and activities of one of our officers, and our Office of Professional Standards continues to actively investigate these claims,” the department said in a statement. “At this point, the officer in question has been removed from his position as a School Resource Officer and has been administratively suspended from the police department pending a recommendation from Col. Jeffrey Katz for termination.”
A phone number believed to be Morley’s did not return a request for comment on Monday.
Morley used the screen name “Danimal876” to post in chat rooms Identity Evropa maintained on chat platforms Slack and Discord. Those chat logs were made public by the media collective Unicorn Riot earlier this month. But despite the pseudonym, Morley posted personally identifying information, Richmond-area Twitter users “Antifa Seven Hills” and “The Queer Crimer” first noted.
In November, Morley identified his voting district. “VA 7 is my precinct,” he wrote in Identity Evropa’s Discord, “hoping [Rep. Dave] Brat can bring it home.”
Chesterfield is located in Virginia’s 7th congressional district, where Brat lost his reelection bid in November. During a January conversation about race and schools, he indicated he worked in a public school.
“I was talking to a high school principal the other day who was going through the school with a higher-up,” he wrote. “The majority of the classes they went to had no instruction going on whatsoever, even though they saw these two people come in. Blew my mind.”
Many of Morley’s posts in the Identity Evropa Discord are directed at new members, a function of his position as a coordinator for new recruits.
“Good afternoon newcomers to IE! I'm the new pledge coordinator,” he wrote in September. “My job is to help guide people through the process of applying to IE and becoming full members of this great organization. If you have any questions about what you need to do next, DM me and I'll get back to you.”
Though he was an infrequent poster until 2018, Morley was a member of the Discord server since at least November 2017, months after Identity Evropa’s then-members were involved in coordinating the deadly Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The group’s then-leader Nathan Damigo was convicted for his role in the riot.
Morley also used the name Danimal876 on other forums where he expressed racist views and shared personally identifying information. A YouTube user of the same name has liked seven videos, all of which discuss white supremacist talking points. One liked video is by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. The channel also subscribes to a prominent figure in Asatru, a pagan religion Morley apparently practices.
On Reddit, Danimal876 also shared at least one David Duke video, posted about Asatru, and spent years pushing racist talking points. In one post, he described himself as having gone to a “military college.” A 2009 yearbook reveals Morley went to Virginia Military Institute.
He also identified as a cop from Virginia, posting about enforcing obscure Virginia laws. In a post on in the far-right subreddit TheRedPill, he suggested an interest in violence. “Doesn’t get more real than cruising around, listening to music, and kicking ass,” he wrote three years ago. “Maybe one day I’ll work in an office. Not yet though.”
Morley has been involved in white nationalist movements since he was a teenager, his social media trail suggests. Beginning in 2006, he used the Danimal876 name to post on white supremacist forum Stormfront. He identified as a 19-year-old from Chesterfield. In his first post, he responded to a person looking for more “national socialists” in the area. Later, in an unrelated post chided a woman for not “know[ing] that a National Socialist and a Nazi were the same thing.”
“I consider myself a White Nationalist,” he wrote in 2009.
His views, as he expressed them late 2018 and early 2019 in Identity Evropa chat rooms, do not appear to have significantly changed. From his Stormfront days until present, he counseled fellow white nationalists to steer away from appearances of overt racism, while still furthering racist aims.
“A good strategy would be to steer the definition of ‘racism’ towards ‘racial hatred.’ We don’t hate other races, so we're not racists,” he advised an Identity Evropa member in October. “After all, the word isn’t going away. May as well control it.”
Since the violence of Unite the Right, Identity Evropa has attempted to rebrand with a more public-friendly image. The makeover, as a whites-only, non-Jewish political club, is a flimsy cover for its neo-fascist policies and its members’ racism in closed chat rooms. After Identity Evropa’s chat logs leaked this month, members were identified as active-duty military members and campaigners for Republican political candidates.
Shortly after the leaks, the group renamed itself the “American Identity Movement” and held a rally to promote its latest rebrand.
In the group’s pictures of the event, Morley is seen holding a flag behind the group’s banner. He is wearing the same shirt as he wears in a recent picture from his local Asatru group. That group’s website stresses its ties to “our heathen Anglo-Saxon forebears.” While Asatru is an old religion and not inherently racist, some groups’ emphasis on European heritage have made the faith a magnet for white supremacists.
Morley appears to have been involved with Identity Evropa longer than he was a school resource officer. In August, a fellow officer uploaded a video of Morley, and described him as newly assigned to L.C. Bird High School.
“I want to ensure that the children of this county get to have the same safe childhood that I did growing up,” Morley said in the video.