St. Louis, MO, July 25, 2018 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the killing of MeShon Cooper, 43, of Kansas City, as a possible hate crime.
Cooper was found dead July 14 in Shawnee, KS about a week after being reported missing. Ronald Lee Kidwell, 47, has been charged with second-degree murder in Cooper’s death. According to the Kansas City Star, two family members and a neighbor claim Kidwell is a white supremacist who had previously attacked black people.
“We’re saddened and horrified by the brutal killing of MeShon Cooper,” ADL Heartland Regional Director Karen Aroesty said. “In light of recent reports that the suspected killer is an alleged white supremacist, it’s vital that law enforcement investigate all possible motivations in the killing of MeShon Cooper, including hatred based on the color of her skin. ADL is encouraged that the FBI has decided to investigate this case as a possible hate crime.”
According to ADL data, over the last decade a total of 71 percent of all extremist-related fatalities in the U.S. have been linked to domestic right-wing extremists, including white supremacists. In 2017, white supremacists and other far-right extremists were responsible for 59 percent of all extremist-related fatalities in the U.S., up from 20 percent in 2016.