Muskegon, Michigan police officer Charles Anderson is on administrative leave after a Black man was touring his home during an open house and found Ku Klux Klan memorabilia.
Rob Mathis, an Army veteran and prospective homebuyer posted a photo on Facebook of a framed KKK “application for citizenship” hung on a bedroom wall. He also said he found confederate flags throughout the house.
In his post, Mathis said he immediately left the Holton, Michigan home after finding the application, informing the realtor he would not be writing an offer.
“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,” the post reads.
Police officials confirmed Anderson was placed on leave pending an investigation. He has been on the force for over two decades.
MichiganLive reporters reached Anderson at his home, who declined to comment on the situation due to the department telling him not to make a statement during the investigation.
Also refusing to comment on the same grounds was the officers’ union, Police Officers Labor council.
Mathis and his wife, Reyna Mathis said told MichiganLive they were initially afraid to make the social media post.
“At first, I didn’t want him to post anything,” Reyna Mathis said. “I was worried about our safety, our kids’ safety, but then Rob said, ‘We have to stand for something or we’ll fall for anything.’”
Anderson was cleared of wrongdoing for fatally shooting a Black man in 2009, because the County Prosecutor determined he was reasonably afraid for his life and therefore justified in using deadly force.
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Racism throughout police forces was forced into the spotlight after the Plain View Project, a database that exposed thousands of racist, threatening and otherwise problematic social media posts by police officers throughout the county, launched in 2018. The database is fraught with images of confederate flags and comparisons of Black Lives Matter and Muslim activists with the KKK.