Complainant For Fired-Cop's Vintage KKK Application Had Previously Assaulted Him

Muskegon Police Officer Charles Anderson served his department for 22 years.

Muskegon, MI – The veteran Muskegon police officer who was fired after a complaint that he had a vintage Ku Klux Klan (KKK) application hanging in his house had previous run-ins with his accusers.

In one instance, one of them hit the officer in the face during a traffic stop.

Muskegon Police Officer Charles Anderson’s employment was terminated during a disciplinary hearing on Sept. 12, after a citizen complained about a piece of KKK memorabilia he had on display inside his home, MLive reported at the time.

The investigation into the 22-year veteran of the Muskegon police force began approximately one month ago, after Robert Mathis, who is black, toured the officer’s Holton Township home with his family as part of a potential real estate purchase.

During the tour, Robert spotted an unsigned, vintage KKK application hanging in a frame, and also noticed several Confederate flags in the residence, MLive reported.

Robert Mathis subsequently described the items he saw in a Facebook post.

“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,” he declared in the post. “To the officer, I know who you are and I will be looking at resources to expose your prejudice.”

Officer Anderson was placed on administrative leave during the internal investigation, according to a 400-page Muskegon Police Department (MPD) inquiry report.

During an interview, Robert Mathis was asked if he had ever had contact with Officer Anderson.

“No sir. Not to my knowledge, you know,” he responded, according to the report. “I’m not, you know, perfect. I’ve had some run in’s with the law and maybe been arrested by the officer but in going into the home I was just exploring to see if it was a fit for my family.”

He was then asked if Officer Anderson might have arrested him at some point.

“I don’t know sir,” Robert Mathis said, according to the report. “I’m not, you know, saying that I haven’t. I’m not saying that I have.”

Robert’s wife, Reyna Mathis, also told police that she “doesn’t know” if she had ever had contact with Officer Anderson, but noted that “she was in trouble” in the past, according to the report.

In fact, Officer Anderson had pulled the couple over for a speeding violation in 2008, investigators said.

Both suspects exited the vehicle and refused to comply with Officer Anderson’s orders during the stop, resulting in the officer placing Reyna Mathis under arrest for “failing to follow his lawful commands,” according to the report.

During the altercation, Reyna Mathis struck Officer Anderson “in the face and eye with her hand, causing minor injury” to him, the report revealed.

She was later convicted of assault on a peace officer, and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Approximately three months later, in October of 2008, Officer Anderson arrested Reyna Mathis at a bar after she allegedly assaulted someone there.

She was allegedly intoxicated at the time, and was taken to jail for two outstanding warrants during that instance.

In 2010, Officer Anderson responded to a report of a “mutual domestic assault” at the Mathis home, after the intoxicated couple got into an argument about Robert Mathis having an affair, according to the report.

Robert Mathis had an active warrant for his arrest at the time, but fled the scene prior to officers’ arrival. Neither suspect was arrested as a result of that altercation.

The following year, Officer Anderson responded to a complaint from a woman who claimed that her purse was stolen while she was attending a party at the hone of Reyna Mathis.

He interviewed Reyna Mathis as part of the investigation, but another officer conducted the follow-up investigation.

Officer Anderson responded to the Mathis home again in November of 2012, after Reyna Mathis called 911 to report that she and Robert Mathis were in the midst of a domestic disturbance with their children present.

“Both were reported as intoxicated,” according to the report.

Reyna Mathis said that Robert Mathis had “cussed” at her, so she “called 911 as she was afraid things were getting out of hand,” the report read.

Robert Mathis refused to give a statement, and there was no evidence that an assault occurred, so Officer Anderson “stood by until Reyna gathered her things and left,” according to the inquiry.

Officer Anderson’s final involvement with the couple occurred in 2014, after someone called 911 to report that they were outside the caller’s home looking for their runaway son.

Both parties left prior to his arrival, and he had no contact with them during that call.

The Mathis family’s real estate agent was also interviewed as part of the inquiry.

She noted that the couple was also trying to sell their own home, so she sent them MLS documents on a home that was comparable to the one they were selling.

“The embedded documents in the MLS listing show the seller as Chuck or Charles Anderson on the MLS sheet, the seller’s disclosure form, and the property surveys,” according to the inquiry report.

The agent said that the Robert and Reyna Mathis told her they wanted her “to find them a large home, with an in-ground pool with acreage,” and that she was “somewhat surprised that the Mathis’s were interested” in the home she had sent them the MLS documents on because that residence was similar to the one they were trying to sell.

She noted that a pool was a “steadfast requirement” of the Mathis family, but that Officer Anderson’s home did not have one.

Since Robert and Reyna Mathis wanted to tour Officer Anderson’s home, the agent met with them for a showing on Aug. 7, according to the inquiry.

She ended up taking a call in the foyer during the tour, so the family wandered through the residence on their own.

A short while later, Robert Mathis “abruptly exited the home,” the agent said, according to the report.

The agent then went upstairs with Reyna Mathis, who pointed out the framed KKK application on the wall in an upstairs room.

Once they got outside, “the Mathis’s were talking about the owner being an Officer,” so the agent asked them if they knew him, according to the report.

The agent said that she then realized that Officer Anderson’s name was on the MLS sheet she had provided to them, and she shared his name with them again.

“Rob Mathis stated, ‘yeah we know him (or of him), we know who he is,’” their realtor said, according to investigators.

During the investigation, Officer Anderson confirmed that he has a framed, 1920’s-era KKK application hanging in the “antique room” of his home, according to the inquiry report.

He said he also has a Confederate flag hanging in his garage, as well as a Confederate flag-themed hot pad on his dining room table.

Officer Anderson explained that he has an extensive “Dukes of Hazard” collection and the flags were a part of that collection.

He said he is passionate about U.S. history – especially from the late 1800’s to the 1960’s – and that he purchased the KKK application approximately six years ago.

“He describes himself as an amateur historian and a collector of any antique items that originate from that particular time frame,” the report read. “He was adamant that to him the application is just a piece of Americana that was from the time period from which he collects antiques.”

Officer Anderson said he is a member of the Catholic-based Knights of Columbus charity organization, as well as the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Officer’s Labor Council, but “emphatically denied” having ever been a member of the KKK.

“Anderson was asked if he left these items up in his home to dissuade a minority from purchasing his home,” according to the report. “Anderson advised that does not care who he sells his home to, he simple wants to complete the sale.”

Officer Anderson also noted that, as a Catholic, he “would be considered a target” by the KKK.

The highly-decorated officer “advised that he considers himself to be a member of the community who is strongly against the Ku Klux Klan and what that organization stands for,” according to the report. “Anderson stated that as an Officer for 22 years, he believes that he has done the City of Muskegon well, and treated everyone fairly.”

He also noted that if the Mathis family had contacted him directly, he would have explained why he had those items, “shown them his extensive collections,” and that he would have apologized to them because “he meant no one harm by any of it,” according to the inquiry.

The investigation also included interviews with a member of the LGBTQ community, who staunchly defended Officer Anderson and called him “the least bigoted person he knows,” according to the report.

Officers from his shift – including four who “are all of African ethnicity” – all “spoke favorably of Officer Anderson and singled him out as a genuine, and honest man, who lends his experience willingly to all Officers,” investigators said.

They also described the veteran officer as being “not at all biased,” and said that he “polices the City as a fair and impartial Officer,” according to the report.

But the feedback provided by those who have worked with Officer Anderson over his 22-year career was outweighed by local social justice faith-based leaders – none of whom have had any direct experience with Officer Anderson in any capacity.

“They do however know how the [African-American] Community perceives Charles Anderson and the Muskegon Police Department,” the report noted.

“If Anderson returns to the Police Department, the City would go ‘wild’ and there would likely be trouble,” the inquiry report read. “He has lost all of his trust from the people. All stated that Anderson is probably a great police officer, but the African-American community has no faith in him.”

The inquiry concluded that, by “the mere possession of the application and Confederate flag-related items,” Officer Anderson caused the African-American community “to look unfavorably on the whole Police Department.”

“The general consensus of the African-American community is that this is part of the police culture, is supported, and the police condone this. It is believed that no action will be taken against Anderson at all. The feeling is that the gap between the community and the department will never grow closer, as this situation pushes us further apart,” the report read.

The faith-based leaders argued that “being a public representative calls for heightened expectations from the public, and lessens the tolerance of mistakes or even misinterpretations,” the report read.

The report also contained 16 awards for bravery or letters of appreciation that Officer Anderson received during his career, WZZM reported.

There was no evidence of any disciplinary action against him, according to the news outlet.

After Officer Anderson was fired by the department, Robert Mathis said that he was “glad the city was moving forward in a positive direction,” but that other officers need to be held accountable for not saying anything about the memorabilia Officer Anderson had in his home, according to MLive.

“There are other officers within the police force that have been to Anderson’s home and were well aware of the Confederate flags,” Robert Mathis alleged. “[Officers who] contributed to that behavior, instead of saying we as a police force are supposed to have good attitudes when making decisions for our community.”

“These KKK applications, flags, they’re not indicative of people who should protect and serve our community,” he opined.

Protesters have demanded that the department review cases involving the now-former officer and people of color, including the 2009 shooting death of Julius Johnson, MLive reported.

Officer Anderson fatally shot Johnson as he was beating the officer in the head with multiple objects, including the officer’s radio.

The officer was beaten so severely, doctors had to place a metal plate in his head to repair the damage, FOX News reported.

Prosecutors later determined that Officer Anderson’s use of deadly force was justified.

Comments (203)
No. 1-33
BerettaAPX
BerettaAPX

So if we found a Malcolm X poster in a black persons home could that get them fired????

Woobie46
Woobie46

Time for the CIVIL SUITS TO BEGIN! Sue each and every person who voted to have you fired. Then sue the bastard who started this bs. He must have money if he's buying a house on several acres and demand a pool. Also, sue the bitch realtor who put his name out there and did NOT walk with these assholes through the house. Sue the City Manager and the rest of the filth who work in that place. SUE THEM DOWN TO THE GROUND. CIVIL SUITS MATTER!

Justretired
Justretired

Interesting to say the least, now some of story comes out. 10-82 calls, 10-56 calls, 10-76 calls at the said shit stirrer resident. One at bar also, seems they had a vendetta against the officer.

DNW
DNW

Interesting how the report presumes to speak on behalf of the entire 'African-American community' of Muskegon. I wonder if it's true that his antiquities collection matters more to 'everyone' than his spotless record, or perhaps just those trying to do him in.
In one place there actually appears to be a threat of violence if he is returned to employment.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Here is the 421 page report regarding "Muskegon Police Department Inquiry into Allegations of Potential Bias by Officer Charles Anderson."

Delete the spaces... https://tinyurl.com/y 6 f o j j 9 9

flybynight
flybynight

Shuck and Jive have spoken, so the matter is officially closed. (Sarcasm)

Lesstalkmoreaction
Lesstalkmoreaction

13% of people never miss a chance to be offended, even if the outrage is contrived.

TWalters
TWalters

No excuse for a LEO to prominently display an application to any hate organization anywhere. It’s not free speech or history. It’s a piece of hate to worship when no one is looking and shows what’s in his heart. Who on here wants someone that collects KKK memorabilia working in law enforcement?

HRHLynette
HRHLynette

This disgusts me. This couple purposely set out to start trouble with this particular Police Officer. They were angry that he had been the Officer on duty when they were arrested for acting the fool. They maliciously RUINED this man's life! They repeatedly told the lie that they had no prior knowledge of Officer Anderson's identity. Seriously.... !? How many times does a cop have to arrest you before you recognize someone on sight? At this point, I'm pretty sure these guys were on a first name basis! This is a blatant case of "Police Harassment" just NOT the way the way everyone else is used to hearing the term. 🤬🤢🤮

RetAFVet
RetAFVet

I'm confused...the Muskegon police department did an investigation and found out that ex-police officer Charles Anderson had a previous run-in with Robert and Reyna Mathis so they fired him after 22 years for that. WOW

tfort
tfort

You cannot be a racist and continue to hold the public’s trust. To go back a decade to make a connection between the two is amusing.

His fascination with The Dukes of Hazard tells you everything you need to know about his maturity level.

Tex-Mex gal
Tex-Mex gal

This officer was an asset to his department and community. What a shame!

dcoskrey
dcoskrey

I would be interested to hear how black police officers feel about this. I would really be interested to hear how black Muskegon police officers feel about it.

adammcculler
adammcculler

If I were him,I would move far away from that backwards town..any police department would be lucky to have such a fine officer.

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

It is time for this shit to come to an end! Is getting way out of hand! You can't even collect history memorabilia anymore without being labeled something that you are not! Total bullshit!

Grog
Grog

The scumbag wasn't touring the house as potential real estate purchase. He was scoping it out. Casing the house.......... I hope this 22 year veteran sues the living crap out of Muskegon! What law was broken by having a piece of history? As distasteful as it may be to some, it is a piece of history!

LEO0301
LEO0301

Another department succumbing to the gang mentality instead of standing strong and doing the right thing.

Golobki
Golobki

Sue all if them!

OldVet
OldVet

Does not take a trained investigator or prosecutor to see this is a blatant attempt to slander the officer. The officer needs to sue all those involved.

unholyone
unholyone

Read the detailed result. Tell me that I'm nuts? Obviously framed, complainants lied to IA, complainants have a extensive criminal past, and the guy's fired with an outstanding record for 22 years! Oh, the social justice warriors threatened violence, so the powers to be suck-cumb (sic). Sue, get his job back, and retire. Then move away from those idiots that run that place.

Shepard
Shepard

Like Chris Rock always say... I love Black people...Can't stand N**S

Nnfdret
Nnfdret

Trying to erase history because you’re offended won’t change the history. The collection of any historically significant paraphernalia is a reminder of where we were and signifies our pilgrimage to where we are. If an African American were to collect slave paraphernalia, he would be deemed an historian. This double standard is part of the poison that fuels divisiveness.

tuggingalong
tuggingalong

I’m a while male from the Deep South and I’ve been around a while and I have never seen a KKK outfit, person, rally, burning cross, or anything to do with the klan. I’ve never heard of anyone wanting any association with the KKK either.

I’ve heard the “N” word coming out African Americans mouths 100 times more than coming out of a white person’s mouth.

Racism is one form of discrimination but there are many. It’s ok to discriminate against anyone with a different opinion. This PC culture is a religion of virtue signaling fools.

Perhaps people should learn about the history of slavery which is as old and prominent as war itself. Perhaps people should live in today’s world but that would make too much sense. Victimhood is much easier. It can provide power and money when played with proper maneuvering.

MJTECH
MJTECH

Basically reading through this officers background, he did his job to well and because of that a bunch of black activist preachers threatened the city with riots if they did not can him.

Hopefully the FOP lawyers can secure his retirement and save him from this raciest based lynching, for if they fail to do that, it will send a strong message to other LEO's to back off, ride it out and retire.

The end result will be anarchy, which the liberal progressives are gaming for and are actively attacking LEO's to achieve that goal.

Anomie88
Anomie88

Sounds like a lawsuit for unlawful termination.

starterup
starterup

It is wrong that he was fired!! If he always did his job properly for that length of time, never hurt anyone or was trouble for anyone then why does what he has in his home matter? He should get his job back with back pay plus for what he is having to go through.

FLYBOYTIM
FLYBOYTIM

You can write the city of Muskogen. I did and they replied. But I think with enough people supporting the officer, it could help. But what does bother me about this whole story is that the accusers, the Mathis's (husband and wife) had both been arrested by the officer. The wife punched the officer in the face during one arrest. Both have had multiple warrants for their arrests. These people are criminals.

RayRayGunn
RayRayGunn

Can't believe this GOOD OFFICER lost his job over this EVERYONE NEEDS TO TREAT EVERYONE ELSE THE WAY THEY WANT TO BE TREATED! HE DID NOTHING WRONG! THIS CREEPS ARE CRIMINALS!!! STOP THE NOISE!

Luv2Read
Luv2Read

With all the positives in the officer's file, it amazes me that he was fired. I get the whole "African Americans won't trust him routine" but the guy did nothing wrong instead has supporters from "marginalized" groups. Sounds like this officer might be looking at a lot of money should he decide to sue. smh

Stu Redman
Stu Redman

I would have to let those slimeballs rot in hell.

SterlingArcher9701
SterlingArcher9701

Lmao, so the obviously racist cop is being given a pass because he pulled the complainant over in a traffic stop over a decade ago? Seriously? Whatever happened to standards with police? It's like attaining the bare minimum is a problem these days. If you collect Klan "memorabilia" you should probably find another career. That's like collecting Nazi "memorabilia". I shudder to think of the outrage that would come if a black officer were found to collect Black Panther Party "memorabilia".

MajScallywag
MajScallywag

The Flag didn’t kill anyone. Soldiers did. Y’all sound like the anti-gun people talking about guns killing. All the years I’ve owned my guns they have not killed or injured anyone. They just lie there behaving themselves. So now we have the collector vigilantes. They will approve and disapprove what you are allowed to collect. Communism has arrived.

qazwiz
qazwiz

sue both county and the vindictive accuser (I'm wondering if Officer was public about his house being for sale, and subsequently accuser started looking....) additionally if accuser never buys new house we likely will see it as proof of bad faith