Michigan police officer on leave after KKK items found in home
MUSKEGON, Mich. (FOX 2) - A Michigan police officer is on administrative leave after an application to the KKK and Confederate flags were found framed inside his Muskegon home that was for sale.
Rob and Reyna Mathis told FOX 17 in Grand Rapids that they were walking through a home for sale in Muskegon but noticed the Confederate flags and framed KKK application that was hanging on the wall of the home.
Rob said there were at least two Confederate flags hanging in the home and, had that been it, they probably would have put an offer in to buy the house. But that wasn't it.
In one of the bedrooms, there was a plaque hanging on the wall.
"In the bedroom, right across ... there was a plaque up there, all by itself" said Rob. "So being nosy, I walked over there and it was an application for the KKK. I said, 'oh no.' I told my son, 'don't touch nothing.'"
Rob said he immediately walked out of the home and waited for his wife.
"I'm outside. I'm trying to calm myself down because I was touching those door knobs," he said. "I'm just sickened by even being in this house."
Rob posted about what happened on Facebook, which included a picture of the KKK application. Through that post, he learned it belonged to a Muskegon police officer, identified as Charles Anderson.
According to Muskegon City manager Frank Peterson, Anderson was hired 20 years ago in the department.
He was placed on administrative leave as police investigate.
Peterson said the department puts all recruits through a lengthy background check and performs physiological testing before hiring. He couldn't clarify what measures the department used before hiring Anderson because it happened well before he started.
Rob Mathis said Anderson should be fired from his position.
"I think he should lose his job," Rob said. "There is no way a person who is racist should police the public. Muskegon is a very diverse community."
WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids went to the home and knocked on the door. Anderson would not speak but his wife, Rachael, answered the door.
“He can’t say anything right now, I wish we could because it would probably set a lot of things straight,” Rachael Anderson told WOOD-TV.
The station asked if her husband was a Klan member, and she answered: “No, he’s not, no, no.”
Anderson was cleared in the 2009 fatal shooting of Julius Johnson during a chase in Muskegon. According to FOX 17, investigators said Anderson used all available forms of non-lethal force during a physical struggle before firing the single shot that killed Johnson.