(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Thomas Jurgens, a lawyer from the Southern Poverty Law Center, seems to be one of the 23 people facing domestic terrorism charges for acts of violence at a protest in Atlanta over the weekend.
The Atlanta Police Department announced their charges Sunday night following violent protests against the department’s planned training facility.
APD said that on Sunday, “a group of violent agitators used the cover of a peaceful protest of the proposed Atlanta Public Safety Training Center to conduct a coordinated attack on construction equipment and police officers.
“They changed into black clothing and entered the construction area and began to throw large rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks at police officers.”
Videos are circulating online of some of the protestors’ violence.
From earlier today pic.twitter.com/bnfXvVOMYa
— Sean Keenan (@ThatSeanKeenan) March 6, 2023
One of those agitators was allegedly Jurgens, who is a lawyer for SPLC, according to his LinkedIn page. Jurgens has apparently taken down his LinkedIn profile since, but it is archived here, showing that he has been a staff attorney for SPLC’s “economic justice project” since September 2021.
Jurgens’ profile also says he was an intern for the DOJ in 2017.
The SPLC has not responded to an email from Headline USA seeking comment over the matter.
Observers have been quick to note the irony that SPLC—which has labeled a wide-variety of center-right organizations as “hate groups”—is engaging in the same tactics it purports to guard against.
“Will the SPLC be listing itself as a hate group?” asked Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C.
Will the SPLC be listing itself as a hate group? https://t.co/jdKzGXZMaX
— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) March 6, 2023
“These are the guys who call us terrorists,” said Dan McAdams, the head of the Ron Paul Institute, which the SPLC has accused of being “stacked with extremists.”
These are the guys who call us terrorists…😂😂🤮 https://t.co/P53sDwE6tX
— Daniel McAdams (@DanielLMcAdams) March 6, 2023
The SPLC lawyer’s arrest comes on the heel of the organization facing another scandal, when it was revealed last month that the FBI was relying on SPLC information to target Catholics as potential extremists.
Attorneys general from 20 states have written Attorney General Merrick Garland over the matter.
“The [FBI’s] reliance on the SPLC is particularly disappointing, given that the SPLC has been utterly discredited as a reliable source,” they said.
The SPLC’s incestuous relationship with the FBI dates back decades. As Headline USA exclusively reported last month, the FBI once used the SPLC as an intelligence cut-out to spy on extremist organizations.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.