Nearly a month after a framed KKK application was found in his home, the Muskegon Police Department has fired veteran police officer Charles Anderson. The cop had been placed on administrative leave after a black homebuyer came across the KKK memorabilia and other racist insignia in Anderson’s home, which was up for sale.
Muskegon City Manager Fred Peterson confirmed to CNN that Anderson was fired after a disciplinary hearing last Thursday.
Anderson’s appreciation for racist home decor was uncovered by Rob Mathis and his wife, Reyna, who toured the officer’s property in August. Mathis not only found multiple Confederate flags in the home, but a framed, unfilled KKK application in one of Anderson’s bedrooms.
“I just felt so violated,” Mathis said at the time. Because of Anderson’s role as a police officer, Mathis felt compelled to come forward with what he found in his home.
“I feel sick to my stomach knowing that I walk to the home of one of the most racist people in Muskegon hiding behind his uniform and possibly harassing people of color and different nationalities,” Mathis wrote in a Facebook post after the encounter.
The incident also shed new light on Anderson’s past: the Muskegon cop fatally shot a black man, 23-year-old Julius Johnson, during a traffic stop in 2009. The shooting was ruled an act of self-defense, even though Johnson’s sister told investigators she “heard her brother beg for his life before Anderson shot him,” writes the Washington Post.
When news of the racist memorabilia first broke, Muskegon County prosecutor’s office told MLive it would wait for the conclusion of the police investigation before it would reevaluate Johnson’s killing.
In other words, it is easier to fire a white cop over a blank KKK application than it is to fire him for actually killing a black man.
While Anderson’s wife has denied that her husband is a member of the Klan, Eric Hood, president of the Muskegon County chapter of the NAACP, has called for Anderson’s interactions with people of color to be reviewed.