Update, August 18, 3:40 p.m. ET:
A spokesperson for Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told The Baltimore Sun that the city cancelled its contract with Glen Keith Allen. ”None of the historical facts and alleged facts recently publicized about Mr. Allen’s political views and affiliations were disclosed or discussed when his contract was agreed to,” the official said. “The law department does not as a general practice question its hired or contract attorneys about their political views.”
Just over a week after the Department of Justice released a report describing the Baltimore Police Department’s (BPD) discrimination against the city’s Black residents, a new report reveals that a city attorney who is defending the BPD in a wrongful conviction case was a long-time member of a White supremacist group.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reported yesterday (August 17) on Glen Keith Allen’s membership with the neo-Nazi group National Alliance. Allen works with Baltimore’s Litigation and Claims Practice Group and is defending the city and police department in a 2015 lawsuit filed by Sabien Burgess, a Black man who spent 19 years in jail for a murder of which he was ultimately exonerated. Burgess’ complaint argues that police withheld evidence that cast doubt on his conviction.
“Baltimore’s Litigation and Claims Practice Group is arguably one of the most aggressive and successful defenders of police misconduct in the country,” said the SPLC. “The Burgess case is one of three cases against Baltimore currently before the courts that allege wrongful incarceration.”
Documents featured in the SPLC’s report indicate that Allen paid dues to the National Alliance for years, subscribed to its publication and purchased one of the group’s DVDs about Holocaust denial. Records also reveal Allen’s contributions to and presumed leadership with the American Eagle Party, whose leader Merlin Miller spoke about 9/11 conspiracies on Iranian television. Allen also appeared in one of the party’s videos on the possible dangers of vaccines.
Allen told the New York Daily News that he joined the National Alliance in the mid-80s, but distances himself from it now. ”I was in the U.S. Army from 1978 to 1982 and I had some pretty awful experiences with Black people there, to be honest,” he said about his interest in the group. He said he did not remember donating to the group in 2003, but he admitted to both attending a Holocaust conference in 2007 and helping find the group an attorney in Canada several years ago.
“I do not think that supremacist is a proper characterization for people who take a degree of pride in their own separate histories,” Allen told the Daily News when asked if he was a White supremacist. He also said that he doesn’t know who perpetrated 9/11, and that he supports challenges to the official death counts from the Holocaust.
Neither the BPD nor the City Law Department responded to either the SPLC or the Daily News.
(H/t The Baltimore Sun)