MUSKEGON, Mich. (CNN Newsource) — An investigation is underway in Michigan after KKK items were found in a police officer’s home.
The same officer was cleared by state police in the 2009 killing of a man during a traffic stop.
The officer is on leave, and the community is demanding answers.
Rena and Robert Mathis were looking at the charming home on a large wooded lot in Holton when he noticed something disturbing.
They didn’t know it, but the house belonged to Muskegon police officer Charles “Chuck” Anderson.
“It was a full-length confederate flag,” Robert said. “So I’m like I’m not liking this. There’s just this one plaque on the wall. So I walk over to the wall and I read the plaque and it said KKK application. So I was like, I’m done, I said I want to get out of here right now.”
The couple put their findings on Facebook and it got the attention of the community leading to city officials announcing that Anderson was on leave pending an investigation.
We went to the home to talk to Anderson who was there but his wife came to the door.
“He can’t say anything right now,” Racheal Anderson said. “I wish we could because it would probably set a lot of things straight, but…”
When asked if he was a member of the Klan, she responded, “no, he’s not, no, no.”
The incident has the attention of the Muskegon County NAACP.
“We want a thorough investigation to be sure that when he goes out there and puts on that uniform and performs his duties as an officer that he’s being fair and impartial,” Eric Hood, Muskegon County NAACP President, said.
He says as a former police officer between 1998 and 2008, he believes the department has come a long way and asks for the community to be patient, but he says the NAACP will be watching and demanding answers.
“Why would he leave it up knowing that his house was showing to be sold,” Hood said.
In September of 2009, Anderson shot 31-year-old Julius Johnson following a traffic stop when Johnson allegedly ran and then fought with Anderson using the officer’s own radio and club to bludgeon him.
The officer then shot him.
A Michigan State Police investigation found the shooting justified but the then NAACP leader wanted more to be done calling for a federal investigation that never came.
“While there is no quick fix to these problems,” Reverend William Anderson said. “We must face them responsibly, and persistently. That means whatever we start, we must finish.”
Johnson’s sister, Tunisia Phillips, said at the time that her brother begged for his life before he was killed.
She was found guilty of lying to police and was sentenced to three to 15 months in jail.
“Every day I go just driving through the alley coming home,” Phillips said in 2009. “Every day I live with it, it’s getting harder and harder by the day because we’re still not getting answers. I’m just ready to get some kind of closure so we can move forward as a family. It’s hard because they’re not giving us any answers.”
Now, the couple who went through the house also wants some answers.
“I like antiques but I collect things that I represent,” Rena said. “You can go in my basement, we have Detroit Lions, Redwings, Michigan stuff — everything we associate ourselves with. So why would you collect something you don’t associate yourself with.”
The officer’s wife insisted that her husband is not a member of the Ku Klux Klan.