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Kroger pulls militia group Oath Keepers from Community Rewards donation program

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Posted at 10:41 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 22:41:41-05

CINCINNATI — Kroger said it is immediately removing the Indiana Oath Keepers, a militia group with ties to the Jan. 6 violence at the U.S. Capitol, from its Community Rewards program.

The Community Rewards program is a "customer-directed giving program in which thousands of IRS-approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations participate," according to a company statement Tuesday. The Oath Keepers had posted the Community Rewards program on their website as a way to support the group.

"We were dismayed to learn today this group is part of the Community Rewards program," Kroger's statement read. "Given the concerning nature of the allegations against this organization, we have immediately removed the group from receiving customer-directed funds. Kroger has not directed any corporate grants or charitable dollars to the organization."

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Oath Keepers are "one of the largest radical anti-government groups in the U.S. today."

On Tuesday, FBI officials said they thwarted an upcoming plot involving two people from Ohio and a man in Virginia to attack the U.S. Capitol and Ohio's statehouse, according to the Associated Press. The FBI collected social media messages, photos and video to identify them as part of the Oath Keepers. Donovan Crowl and Jessica Watkins, both of Champaign County, Ohio, were arrested and charged with conspiracy and other federal counts.

Additionally, the AP reports that photographs and video of violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 showed people wearing attire with symbols associated with the Oath Keepers, as well as the Three Percenters movement.

This article was written by WCPO.