Violent racist gang expands into Edmonton

The National Post, Canada/April 17, 2012

Members of a Calgary neo-Nazi group, which forged a reputation as a violent racist gang, have worked for a year to replicate itself in Edmonton, and criminal charges revealed Tuesday suggest its tactics, too, have been transplanted.

Kyle McKee, 26, a leadership figure with Calgary's Blood and Honour who spearheaded its expansion into Edmonton, is among three men arrested after two Sikh men were attacked last month.

When police searched his Calgary home on April 12, they found two shotguns, two rifles, ammunition, and numerous knives and machetes, police said. It is unlikely the stockpile took officers completely by surprise, as Mr. McKee often posed for photographs holding guns as he stands in front of large Nazi flags.

"For a guy who weighs 130 pounds he carries a lot of weight," said Constable Ken Smith of Edmonton police's Hate Crimes Unit.

"People allow him to be the leader because, even though he is 130 pounds, everybody believes he has the potential, as we have seen in the past, to be violent."

Mr. McKee is seen as a fanatic who often gives media interviews and seems happy to pose for pictures, modelling his skinhead chic and Nazi tattoos in front of a vast collection of Nazi regalia.

"He's a true believer. He believes that what he is doing is right. It is all politics — violence is just politics to him," said Brett Gundlock, a former National Post photographer who worked on a photographic documentary on neo-Nazi groups and spent months with Mr. McKee and his friends.

"He has always been the main voice and face of the movement in the area. He's the leader, although he doesn't officially take that title. He doesn't like to say he's the leader but his history shows he's been the main, constant motivator out there."

Mr. McKee has been travelling to Edmonton for more than a year bringing in new recruits. Four such acolytes were arrested in Edmonton a year ago after attacking people while out promoting a White Pride march held annually; three have since pleaded guilty.

The new arrests also coincided with the annual march.

On March 24, the rally was held in Edmonton instead of Calgary and, while waving banners and flags and most wearing face masks, members and associates of Blood and Honour marched through the city. They were confronted by anti-racist activists, who outnumbered them.

It was later that evening that two Sikh men originally from India were attacked outside of an east Edmonton liquor store.

"One of the victims, inside the store, had racial slurs directed at him. As he left the store he was confronted and assaulted. Then, during that assault, we allege one of the other accused came up and hit him in the back of the head with a full bottle of alcohol," said Const. Smith.

The broken glass was then used to stab the victim, who was also bitten, police allege.

Mr. McKee faces 15 weapons charges and two assault-related charges.

Bernard "Bernie" Miller, 20, of Edmonton, is charged with assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm. He is described by police as a leading member of Blood and Honour in Edmonton.

Philip Badrock, 44, of St. Albert, an Edmonton suburb, is charged with criminal harassment and assault causing bodily harm. He is described as an associate of the group.

"They had their march in Edmonton this year and that is where they are focusing all their efforts. Kyle has been focusing his efforts on Edmonton; to try to build their chapter up there," said Mr. Gundlock.

Mr. McKee has been involved in white pride or neo-Nazi groups for at least a decade and has often not been far from violence.

"He grew up in a pretty rough childhood in foster care," said Mr. Gundlock. "He has been in and out of jails."

Originally from Ontario, he moved to Calgary and established Aryan Guard, a white supremacist group that splintered amid infighting.

One of Mr. McKee's old ideological comrades in the group, Tyler Sturrup, was the target of a bomb attack in 2009 for which Mr. McKee was charged with attempted murder. That charge was dropped when Mr. McKee pleaded guilty to making explosives.

Mr. Sturrup, in turn, was charged with second-degree murder last June, accused with another neo-Nazi in the beating death of Mark Mariani, 47, of Calgary, who suffered chronic health problems.

In December, Vancouver police arrested three B.C. men alleged to be Blood and Honour members, accused of have committed a string of physical attacks on non-whites.

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