Police

A Cop Tied to KKK Memorabilia May Have a Fatal Shooting Reviewed

Prosecutors are looking into a framed KKK document found at a house belonging to Charles Anderson, a Michigan police officer of over 20 years.

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After being tied to Ku Klux Klan memorabilia, a Muskegon, Michigan police officer may have a fatal shooting incident reviewed.

When Rob Mathis, a black man, toured a house for sale, he and his wife found a Confederate flag and a framed application to the KKK on the wall. Mathis posted a picture of the KKK document online, writing that he would not be making an offer on the home and promising to look "at resources to expose your prejudice." Though he did not name the owner of the house, Mathis did reveal that the owner was a police officer in the community.

"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 the post, which is no longer available.

The owner of the house is Charles Anderson, a white police officer who has served the Muskegon community for over 20 years. Anderson has since been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the memorabilia.

Since Mathis' post went viral, the Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office will use a probe to determine whether or not a fatal September 2009 shooting involving Anderson and a black suspect, which was cleared by Tony Tague, the city's former prosecutor, will be reviewed.

According to Tague's report, Julius Johnson was sitting in the front seat of a car that was pulled over for making an improper turn. The officer who pulled the car over asked for backup after saying he smelled marijuana.

Anderson, who was one of the responding officers, checked Johnson for paraphernalia in a pat-down. When a bag believed to be full of crack cocaine fell from Johnson's person, he ran. Anderson pursued and a physical confrontation ensued when he caught up:

At that point, a bag of suspected crack cocaine fell from Johnson, Johnson fled and Anderson pursued him on foot, the report states. When Anderson caught up with Johnson, they both fell and Anderson wound up on his back with Johnson on top of him, according to the report.

As Anderson called for help, Johnson grabbed his police radio and began beating Anderson in the face and head, later using a different blunt object, the report states. Anderson tried spraying pepper spray at Johnson, but Johnson took it and sprayed it on the officer, the report states. Likewise, Anderson tried using his baton on Johnson, but Johnson snatched that away too.

With blood and pepper spray in his eyes and the beating continuing, Anderson grabbed his gun, warned Johnson he would shoot and then shot him point blank in the left arm with the bullet traveling into Johnson's chest, killing him, the report states. Anderson later underwent surgery for broken facial bones.

Tague concluded that Anderson's actions were justified to save his life.

The Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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  1. It does seem like the shooting was justified in this case.
    But yeah, maybe take down the KKK stuff before you have an open house for selling your house.

    1. Agreed. But yeah, what a dumbass for not hiding that stuff when showing his house.

  2. police officer who has served the Muskegon community

    I hate this idea that being paid by taxpayers means you “served” that community.

    No, he’s a fucking hired goon. An employee. He sure hasn’t been serving anybody, except maybe on a platter.

    Same with politicians, DAs, judges. “Serving” my sweet royal sock puppet ass.

    1. I remember when I first moved to DC and was hanging out in a bar with a senate staffer (for Byron Dorgan) I just happened to meet earlier. He kept talking about goings on in the office, just general office type stuff really, almost like tech support sounding shit. Boring. After a couple beers, I asked him if he had any interesting stories about his boss, the senator. “I’m not going to talk behind his back, especially about a man who has devoted his life to public service.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I don’t know why, but I wanted to punch him in his stupid mouth for saying and thinking such a stupid fucking thing. I never spoke to him after that.

    2. Valar Dohaeris

  3. When Rob Mathis, a black man, toured a house for sale, he and his wife found a Confederate flag and a framed application to the KKK on the wall.

    HGTV’s new show Staging Fails.

  4. Can you even call them “people”?

  5. The officer who pulled the car over asked for backup after saying he smelled marijuana.

    “I was sitting in my patrol car when the call came over the wire. ‘MUNCHIES ALERT. MUNCHIES ALERT. OFFICER DONUTS IN JEOPARDY.’ I sprang into action.”

  6. Anderson tried spraying pepper spray at Johnson, but Johnson took it and sprayed it on the officer, the report states. Likewise, Anderson tried using his baton on Johnson, but Johnson snatched that away too.

    Uh-huh. And the officer who originally pulled Johnson over was just standing there watching, waiting to see how this all played out?

    1. Yeah. Ignoring that little jewel, something about the story sounds a little too hollywood-esque. I’m not saying it couldn’t have gone down that way, I’m just saying that it sounds a little too much “procedures were followed”

  7. I don’t really see why this justifies re-opening the shooting. Does reason really think this sets a good precedent?

    1. ???

      You’ve investigated and cleared somebody of a crime because you can’t find any evidence to suggest that this person might have any particular motive to have committed the crime in question and then lie about it – and then new evidence emerges that suggests this person might indeed have had a very good motive to commit this particular crime and then lie about it.

      Or are you suggesting that the police force knew all along that this guy was a member of the KKK and only decided it was problematic once that information became public knowledge and so they’re just virtue-signaling their faux intolerance for racism?

      1. Virtue signaling drives a lot these days.

      2. According to the Reason story, he had a “a Confederate flag and a framed application to the KKK on the wall”.

        So that means “this guy was a member of the KKK”?

        I checked the Muskegon article and it does not say that.
        Ben Solis, “Michigan police officer suspended after KKK memorabilia found in home”, Muskegon, 8 Aug 2019.
        “A Muskegon police officer has been placed on administrative leave while the city investigates an allegation that his home contains racist memorabilia.”

        The picture of the framed application form shows that it looks very old, creased and water stained, and more importantly IS BLANK, none of the lines are filled in, and definitely it is not signed. The blank date line is 192_.

      3. and then new evidence emerges that suggests this person might indeed have had a very good motive to commit this particular crime and then lie about it

        Motive isn’t enough to convict. If the guy says he was beaten about the face and head and fired one shot to defend himself. I’m not 100% sure how the process goes for officers in his precinct/jurisdiction, but for a civilian it’s exceedingly weak sauce.

        Is there evidence that the “memorabilia” belongs to this guy? This sounds like a prank or otherwise and orgy of evidence.

        1. If the guy says he was beaten about the face and head and fired one shot to defend himself… it seems like there would be lots of supporting evidence.

  8. I would think that all fatal shootings by police would be reviewed, not just the ones involving KKK memorabilia.

    1. It was reviewed. KKK memorabilia 10 yrs. post hoc prompts a second review because even a whiff of racism trumps facts.

  9. So my bookcase full of American history, including ones dealing with ‘the late unpleasantness’ and with a certain Fascist country in the mid twentieth century makes me a suspect? Of exactly what?

    I have a letter of parole to a southern soldier who was released from a Union prison camp. If I frame it, do I become a racist?

    Historical memorabilia is historical memorabilia.
    Does a poster of Che make the owner a communist torturer?
    Does a poster of Malcolm X identify with certainty a Muslim terrorist?
    Does a Bernie bumper sticker trigger an attack by anti fascists?

    Re-opening that investigation reads like an act that is the definition of racist.

    1. What a long winded way to defend a racist. Sheesh.

      Pretty sure no one collects KKK stuff for fun save for, you know, an actual museum.

      1. Pretty sure you’re wrong. There are lots of amateur historians in the world saving all kinds of crazy stuff. By all means, investigate the killing. But don’t be the bigot that you’re assuming the cop to be.

      2. Have you ever been to a gun show?

        Typically located alongside historical firearms are historical memorabilia from US and other armed forces. Among the masses of WWII memorabilia are plenty of Nazi items, covered in swastikas. Many, many people collect these sort of things as a hobby.

        The fact that people do collect these things does not imply that this cop is not a bad actor. It does mean that ownership of these items should not necessarily imply that he is, and that fact you so confidently state that “no one” collects this stuff is evidence that your mental model is far askew from reality, and that you should make an effort to internalize that.

        1. Victors keep losers’ stuff as war trophies.

    2. I’m not certain, but I’m hiding my vinyl copy of BOC’s Secret Treaties, just in case.

    3. The article did say it was a framed application to the KKK. I read that to mean it was an application by the officer. That’s not quite the same thing as having historical memorabilia. But if it was someone else’s application, you’re right, that’s just memorabilia. It still probably indicates the guy is a racist, though.

      1. Why does it indicate he is a racist?

        1. Because we can’t find enough real racists to fit our narrative. Duh!!

      2. LOOK AT THE PICTURE OF THE FRAMED APPLICATION.
        It is blank, unsigned, and the blank date line is 192_.

      3. Nope. The Washington Post had a picture of the application. It wasn’t filled out, and the year portion of the date was printed as “192_”, so it was close to 100 years old.

        1. Well, that makes it memorabilia, but again, who collects KKK memorabilia other than people who admire the organization? Still, it’s not enough to reopen cases. But I was told to take pictures of my family down to put my house on the market. This guy was asking for trouble. Or stupid.

          1. I’m about as anti-communist as they come and guess what I collect? I even live in a post-Soviet country and I’m at the bazaars all the time looking through Soviet memorabilia. I even chose my Khrushchyovka because it wasn’t updated (except for the addition of a water heater and a flush toilet instead of a squat toilet) and still has quite a bit of a Soviet feel to it. Interest doesn’t equal admiration. It’s often just the opposite.

          2. “… who collects ,,, memorabilia other than people who admire the organization?”

            I have a copy of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book, but people who know me consider me anticommunist.

            “Who collects memorabilia other than people who admire the organization?” Uh, people who believe those who ignore bad history are doomed to relive it? Or people who consider stupid history amusing?

    4. It wasn’t a mere history book. It was a Confederate flag and an application to the KKK.

      1. It didn’t say it was his application. And as for the Confederate flag, might be he is a civil war buff, no?

        1. The story doesn’t tell us if these were the only two artifacts on the wall. Were they part of a larger display including unoffensive historical items? Did the home shopper mention them only because he was personally offended? If these two pieces were the only ones on the wall and he had the property listed with an agent I can guarantee they’d tell him to put that stuff in a closet for the duration of the listing period or find another agent. If on the other hand they were two of several or many historical artifacts displayed in let’s say an early 20th century home it could in fact be appropriate staging. I don’t know if that’s the case or not because we haven’t heard from the defense.

  10. I don’t like the KKK but since when is it a crime to be in the KKK that can have you removed from your job, even a police officers job. What other organizations can we make it a crime to be a part of?

      1. but is it a crime to be in the KKK? I don’t think so since they are still allowed to Parade, the Mafia not so much.

    1. Democratic political party?

  11. Anyone else notice Harry Reid the king of filibusters and master of the nuclear option is now against them.

    1. How is old Hairy? Still getting beaten up by his exercise equipment?

    2. I have a copy of Mein Kampf on my Kindle, I must be a Nazi. Wait, no, I have a copy of The Communist Manifesto, I must be a Commie. Wait, no, I have a copy of The Federalist Papers, I must be a Federalist. Wait, no, I have a copy of The Anti-Federalist Papers, I must be an Anti-Federalist. I have copies of the Koran, Bible and Book of Mormon — I am obviously an Islamic Mormon Christian!

      1. And there are people perfectly OK with seizing on the fact you own something suspect to call for a major investigation (and waste of tax payer’s money): THAT is the scary take-away, all the people on this board who assumed the framed application was his joining the KKK.

  12. I’m sorry but memorabilia is not evidence of prejudice. By all means, investigate the killing. But don’t pre-judge just because you think the cop might be prejudiced.

    1. Das rayciss

    2. RE-investigate the shooting in self defense.
      Let’s pretend the story has that part correct. There WAS an investigation, he WAS cleared.
      So why the do-over at taxpayer’s expense? I wish the report had included the relative political parties of the major actors.

      Could this be racially motivated?

  13. >>>pending an investigation into the memorabilia

    an investigation into memorabilia. seriously. and reopening the investigation is biased from the beginning.

    1. Not only that, they’re “using a probe.” =:O

  14. The authoritarian bigots in our slack-jawed backwaters can’t be replaced fast enough. If Mr. Mathis accelerates the replacement of this particular bigot, he should be congratulated.

    Carry on, clingers. And open wider. More progress is on the way . . .

    1. Carry on, clingers

      So sayeth the Reason gecko.

    2. Don’t worry Rev, we be carrying.

      1. If you want to go “the full LaVoy,” be my guest, clinger.

        It’s just a matter of when you are to be replaced by your betters.

  15. “he and his wife found a Confederate flag and a framed application to the KKK on the wall.”

    They also found a lynching rope repurposed as a drapery tie back, but the modern rustic look is still totally on trend. So no need to mention it

  16. Would we also put this cop on administrative leave if he had a a framed application for membership in the CPUSA, or Soviet propaganda posters, like Obama press secretary Jay Carney?

  17. I’m expecting this to turn out to be a lie.

    1. You’re probably expecting the clingers to start becoming competitive in the culture war, too.

      1. Artie, why do you think you’re allowed to speak to me?

        I don’t talk to pretentious hicks who think they can wash off the smell of the sty.

        And you don’t even try. Go back to your trailer park and jack off to New Yorker centerfolds, hick.

    2. I expect to learn, after a thorough investigation, that this guy is divorced and his ex-wife still has a house key.

  18. The cops all klanned up?
    Gee, you would’ve thought this took place in Mississippi in the 1950’s.

  19. ThoughtCrime will be punished!

  20. LOL Reason:

    A Cop Tied to KKK Memorabilia May Have a Fatal Shooting Reviewed

    If You’re Near the Scene of a Crime, Authorities Can Demand That Google Hand Over Your Data

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