By Frederick H. Lowe
A Muskegon, Michigan, police officer who shot to death an unarmed black man on September 24, 2009, following a traffic stop, had a framed Klu Klux Klan application and three Confederate flags in his home and garage.
The KKK is a white terrorist organization founded in 1866 by Confederate war veterans to stop Reconstruction, which existed between 1865 to 1877 to redress the inequities of slavery. Members of the KKK have a long history of joining with the police, once known as the Slave police, to either intimidate or to kill blacks.
The city of Muskegon on Thursday suspended with pay Charles Anderson, 48, who has been a member of the police department for more than 20 years. The department is investigating Anderson who is white.
Jeffrey Lewis, the police chief of the Muskegon, told a local news station that he could not be certain if the items Anderson displayed in his home violated department policy.
Chief Lewis did not say or he wasn’t asked if the KKK application and the Confederate flags reflected Anderson’s attitude toward African Americans. BlackmansStreet could not reach Chief Lewis for comment.
The KKK application and the Confederate flags support the views held by many blacks who are convinced cops wear blue uniforms during the day and don white Klan robes at night.
Rob and Reyna Mathis, who were looking to buy a home, found the Klan application and Confederate flags in plain sight during a tour of the residence with a real estate agent.
Rob Mathis, who is African American, wrote about his experience on his Facebook page. He did not name the home’s owner, but a number of others who recognized the home did.
Mathis’ Facebook post has been viewed more than 1,000 times.
In 2009, Anderson shot to death Julius Allen-Ray Johnson, 23, during a foot chase, following a traffic stop.
After the deadly shooting, Anderson was unable to provide the police department an account of what led to the altercation and the deadly shooting.
The Muskegon County Prosecutor Tony Tague issued a report claiming that Johnson was severely beaten by Anderson about the head with his police baton and that the police officer fired the fatal shot because he feared for this life, which is a well rehearsed response.
It is not known if Tague knew Anderson was KKK sympathizer or member. With the finding of the KKK material and the Confederate flags in Anderson’s home, it is not yet known if the deadly shooting of Julius Allen-Ray Johnson will be reopened.
Tunisia Phillips-Lark, Johnson’s sister, told news reporters and the police she heard her brother pleading for his life. Tague determined through an investigation she was not telling the truth and charged her with lying to police. She pled guilty to filing a false report following the investigation by police. A judge sentenced Lark, a nursing student, to three months in jail.
The Muskegon Branch of the NAACP initially took keen interest in the case. Calls to the organization’s office were not returned.
A local television station reached out to Anderson in his home in Holton, Michigan. He told them he had been ordered not to comment.
Timothy M. Maat, chief assistant prosecutor of the Muskegon County prosecutors, told BlackmansStreet.Today that he cannot comment on Anderson until the investigation is complete.
In a similar development, St. Louis, Missouri, police sergeant Heather Taylor told a CBS news reporter that she believed there were white supremacists in the police department. The Plain View Project, a database of thousands of racist Facebook media posts from current and former police officers throughout the country, reported that 416 posts were affiliated with members of the St. Louis Police Department.