A Michigan police officer has been placed on administrative leave after a would-be homebuyer allegedly found a framed application to the Ku Klux Klan along with Confederate flags while touring the cop's home.
Rob Mathis, who is black, and his wife were touring the Muskegon home with the prospect of purchasing it when they allegedly found the racist paraphernalia hanging on the wall.
Had it been only for the Confederate flags, Rob said he would’ve considered purchasing the home anyway. But the additional find of a KKK application completely dissuaded him, he said.
“In the bedroom, right across … there was a plaque up there, all by itself," Mathis told Fox 17. "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 walked outside to try and calm down while he waited for his wife.
“I’m outside. I’m trying to calm myself down because I was touching those doorknobs,” Mathis said. “I’m just sickened by even being in this house.”
Mathis posted the ordeal on Facebook. Muskegon City Manager Frank Peterson identified the officer as Charles Anderson, who has been on the force for 20 years.
“We do take this sort of issue, seriously, and we are working hard to understand if/how this may impact his ability to safely and fairly police our community,” Peterson told Fox 17 in an email.
Mathis said Anderson should lose his job because there “is no way a person who is racist should police the public. Muskegon is a very diverse community."
Anderson declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
In 2009, Anderson shot and killed parolee Julius Johnson following a struggle. Johnson, who was black, had fled a traffic stop on foot before Anderson caught up with him in a residential backyard. A report by then-Muskegon County Prosecutor Tony Tague found that Johnson hit Anderson in the head with a police radio and "another blunt object" and noted that Anderson was forced to get a metal plate installed in his head.
The prosecutor found that Anderson was "justified in using deadly force."