A Muskegon, Michigan cop has been suspended after a house hunter discovered a framed Ku Klux Klan application and Confederate flags in his home.
Robert Mathis, who is Black, posted a picture of the framed application in Officer Charles Anderson’s bedroom on Facebook after touring his home, which was for sale. The post has been shared hundreds of times.
“I was just so disgusted,” Mathis told MLive.com. “I told my son let’s go, we’re getting out of here. This is a Klan house, really, we have to go right now. It was basically telling me, whites only to purchase his house.”
Mathis revealed he was aware the home belonged to a police officer because there were pictures of Anderson posing in his uniform.
“I said, ‘I want to get out [of] here right now,’” Mathis explained. “To know that I was walking around on property associated with some type of racism, some type of hate, when I got outside I felt like I needed to be dipped in sanitizer.”
Anderson’s wife, Rachael Anderson, defended her husband, telling WOOD-TV her husband is not racist: “He can’t say anything right now. I wish we could because it would probably set a lot of things straight.”
It’s unclear whether items privately displayed in a cop’s personal home is a violation of department policy.
The Muskegon Police Department Policy and Procedure Order states that officers’ decorum and behavior should not “undercut public trust.” It also says officers shall “perform all duties impartially, without favor or affection or ill will and without regard to status, sex, race, religion, political belief ,or aspiration.”
The Chicago Tribune reports Anderson, who has been on the force for 20 years, has been suspended indefinitely.
Anderson was under investigation for the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Julius Johnson, an unarmed Black man, following a September 23, 2009 traffic stop. Johnson fled from Anderson, ensuing a scuffle and Anderson claims he was beaten in the head with his own baton and radio. He allegedly feared for his life and shot the unarmed 23-year-old.
Johnson’s sister told detectives that she heard her brother plead for his life before being killed. Prosecutors determined she was not close enough to the scene to hear his cry. WOOD-TV reports she was charged with lying to police and was sentenced to three months in jail.
It doesn’t appear bodycam footage or video taken by a bystander surfaced following the shooting.