Charles Anderson, the Michigan police officer who was fired after it was revealed that he had kept Ku Klux Klan (KKK) memorabilia and Confederate flags in his home, has given his side of the story, the Detroit Free Press reports.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Anderson had been with the Muskegon Police Department until mid-September, when he was let go. However, back in August, Anderson’s home had been up for sale, and a couple of prospective buyers toured his home with their realtor.
Robert Mathis, who is black, was touring the home with his wife when he noticed that the home prominently displayed a Confederate flag as well as a framed application to the Ku Klux Klan hanging on a wall. Mathis didn’t know whose home he was touring, but as he said in a social media post about it later, he concluded that it belonged to a police officer based on the presence of police paraphernalia in the house.
Apparently, enough people in Muskegon were familiar with Anderson that he was identified as the homeowner. The matter was soon brought to the Muskegon Police Department’s attention and he was later fired for violating a specific policy against “being in possession of certain items associated with a white supremacy group.”
In documents obtained by the Detroit Free Press, Anderson gave city officials his side of the story and explained that everything may have been a huge misunderstanding.
As for the Confederate flag, of which there were multiple iterations throughout the house, Anderson said that it stemmed from his love of The Dukes of Hazzard, the 1970s sitcom in which the flag adorned the main characters’ vehicle. Specifically, he said he “loves everything” about the show and even attended the show’s fan convention, Duke Fest, several times.
As for the KKK application, Anderson said that it was a historical artifact. He explained that he is an amateur historian who is, in particular, interested in the period of U.S. history between the 1880s and 1960s and that he purchased the application a few years ago in Indiana.
Anderson also said that if Mathis had contacted him about the items, he would have explained them to him. Further, the Michigan police officer said that is not and has not ever been a member of the KKK, and indeed, because he’s Catholic, he would have been considered a target of the hate group.