Two members of a Florida town’s police department are off the force after an FBI report allegedly linked them to the Ku Klux Klan, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
According to the Sentinel, Fruitland Park Deputy Chief David Borst offered his immediate resignation once the FBI released the report to police Chief Terry Isaacs. Isaacs dismissed Officer George Hunnewell. While the police chief would say only that the two officers were part of a “subversive organization,” Chief Deputy State Attorney Ric Ridgway identified that organization as the KKK, the Sentinel reports.
“It’s not a crime to be a member of the KKK, even if you are the deputy chief. It’s not a crime to be stupid,” Ridgway said in a previous interview with the Sentinel. “It’s not a crime to hate people. It may be despicable, it may be immoral, but it’s not a crime.”
Isaacs told the Sentinel that Borst, 49, who also was Fruitland Park’s fire chief, denied being involved with the group but after speaking with his family resigned from both posts.
“It’s a tough situation. He was my assistant,” Isaacs told the newspaper. “I’m not saying I believe him. I’m not saying I don’t believe him. But I’ve read the report, and it’s convincing.”
The Sentinel noted that Hunnewell had received five “letters of counseling” in the past year and was demoted from corporal in 2013.
Isaacs told the newspaper that his department was shocked to hear the allegations.
“They’re a good group of people,” Isaacs told the newspaper, referring to his other officers. “The last thing I was expecting to hear in the year 2014 was for a professional law-enforcement officer to be a member of a subversive organization.”
Read more at the Orlando Sentinel.