County removes photo of man in White supremacist biker gang T-shirt from its website – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Posted By on October 2, 2021


San Diego County featured a photo of a man wearing a T-shirt referencing a notorious White supremacist motorcycle gang on its news website for two years before deleting it Wednesday after a Union-Tribune inquiry, a county spokesperson said.

The photo, which showed the man, two women and six children holding a string of fish, was featured on an event page advertising a 2019 fishing class.

A county spokesperson said the photo was from a 2016 fishing event in which the man participated.

The image shows participant in a 2016 event, not county staff, said Michael Workman, a county spokesperson, in an email. We have removed the event listing and deleted the image file.

The man in the image was identified by journalist and researcher Chad Loder on Twitter as Chad Alvarez, 46, of Lakeside. In the photo, Alvarez is wearing a T-shirt that says Support Peckerwoods. The Peckerwoods were founded in 2005 in East County, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Its members wear regalia affiliated with the neo-Nazi movement, such as iron crosses and SS bolts the emblem of the SS in Nazi Germany.

Alvarez did not respond to messages left by the U-T at a phone number and email addresses associated with him.

Loder is part of a network of researchers on social media who use open-source research to identify members of hate groups and other people who engage in street violence including those who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

In a 2011 report called Bigots on Bikes, the Anti-Defamation League described the Peckerwoods as a White supremacist outlaw motorcycle club. Its leaders were the subject of a federal drug operation in 2007 that saw several members of its leadership charged with drug and assault offenses.

This year, the Temecula-based president of the Riverside County chapter of the Peckerwoods was sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Alvarez has become a fixture among the East County-based extremists who organized last year in opposition to the national protest movement launched in reaction to the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. In July, Alvarez was among the group of extremists who fought with black-clad anti-fascist protesters in El Cajon in a short, violent confrontation on the citys Main Street during the We Are Israel rally.

Workman said the photo was likely uploaded to the countys website by a volunteer unfamiliar with the Peckerwoods or its affiliations.

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County removes photo of man in White supremacist biker gang T-shirt from its website - The San Diego Union-Tribune

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