A police officer in Charleston, West Virginia, is on paid administrative leave after a video surfaced of him appearing in a video with his young daughter dancing to a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) anthem.
The Charleston Police Department placed Lt. Shawn Williams, who has been on the force for 16 years, on administrative leave last week, The Saturday Gazette-Mail is reporting. The decision was made as an investigation by the Police Department’s professional standards division looks into videos, taken from Williams’ personal computer, appear to show him and his young daughter promoting the KKK.
In the videos, a young girl in what appears to be a police uniform is seen dancing to a KKK anthem, while a man, allegedly Williams, asks questions that include “derogatory racial language.”
“Stand up and be counted, show the world that you’re a man. Stand up and be counted, go with the Ku Klux Klan.”
Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants has ordered his office to review all cases involving Williams, according to WCHS.
“Racism or prejudice of any kind is completely unacceptable — especially concerning law enforcement officers, who we entrust with protecting our liberties.”
An investigation by WOWK revealed that Williams had been with the Charleston Police Department for 16 years, and was head of the patrol unit. At one point earlier this summer, he was involved in a crackdown at the Transit Mall — a public transportation hub — in Charleston that saw multiple arrests.
“We like to think we do a good job of keeping the riff-raff out of here.”
As of this post, it’s unclear if any other allegations of racial bias or insensitivity have ever been leveled against Williams. The Charleston Police Department’s Code of Ethics makes it clear that there is not room for racial bias in its ranks.
“I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all.”
For his part, Lt. Williams has declined to comment on the videos.
“My wife and I are in the middle of a difficult and painful divorce. Neither of us can or should disclose or comment on deeply personal matters involving our children, who are my first concern. These matters involve a sealed court proceeding.”
Do you believe the Charleston Police Department was right to suspend a cop for appearing in a pro-KKK video? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Charleston Daily Mail]