The leader of an Arizona anti-immigrant group was arrested by the Surprise Police Department on suspicion of identity theft, AZCentral reports.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Bryant Vanegas said that Jennifer M. Harrison, 42, was arrested and booked into jail this Thursday on one count of taking the identity of another, which is a class-4 felony. She was released from custody on Friday morning.
Harrison is the founder of the right-wing anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim group AZ Patriots. As AZCentral points out, the charges brought against Harrison are commonly used against undocumented immigrants who use fictitious identities to obtain jobs in Arizona. She’s best known as the person being laughed at by Alex Kack, also known as “Green Shirt Guy,” in a video that went viral back on August.
Scene inside a Tucson City Council Meeting. Officials voted to put a "Sanctuary City" measure on the November ballot pic.twitter.com/mEh4PNj0Wo
— Nick VinZant (@NickVinZant) August 7, 2019
Police say Harrison stole “the identity of another by accessing an elderly victim’s hotel points” on September 30 to make a hotel reservation in northern California to attend a music festival. According to court documents, she claimed to be innocent after her arrest and did not cooperate with police.
“Jennifer created a scene at the [police department] and in the booking room because she believes she is above the law and does not want to be treated like a criminal,” court documents say. According to police, she kicked over a trash can at one point.
According to freelance journalist Nick Martin, Harrison has been at the forefront of an anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim movement in Arizona for the past two years. “She’s also at times embraced symbols used by white nationalists,” Martin wrote in a series of tweets.
As AZ Central reports, a federal judge in September ordered Harrison and three other AZ Patriots members to stop trespassing at several churches in the Phoenix area that had provided assistance to asylum-seeking migrant families who had been released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A lawsuit accused members of AZ Patriots, and a related group, Patriot Movement AZ, of threatening, harassing and intimidating church members.
Featured image via screen grab/Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office