Muskegon releases report of investigation into officer with KKK item

A photo of Charles Anderson.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Muskegon has released its 421-page report in the investigation of a police officer who was fired after a KKK application was found inside his home.

Charles Anderson was terminated Sept. 12 after being placed on leave in August while the police department conducted an internal investigation into his conduct. The investigation started after a couple touring a home Anderson is trying to sell found the item hanging on a wall.

Robert and Reyna Mathis shared a photo of the KKK item to Facebook, which received thousands of shares and ultimately led to him being fired.

The report says Anderson was interviewed Aug. 13 about the KKK application and Confederate memorabilia found in the home. He claimed the Confederate items are part of an extensive “Dukes of Hazard” memorabilia collection, and his love for the show is the sole reason he has the items.

Anderson said he bought the KKK document about six years ago because he has a passion for U.S. history from the late 1800s to the 1960s, the report says. He described himself as an amateur historian and collector of antique items, which is why he bought and hung the document.

Anderson adamantly denied being a member of the Ku Klux Klan, according to the report.

Police interviewed Anderson’s realtor, who said she knew Anderson and his wife for 25 years and backed up his claim of being an avid antique collector. The realtor said she never received instructions on who to not sell the home to and never was told to not sell the home to people of color.

The Mathises’ realtor was also interviewed, and said she met up with the couple after the abruptly exited the home during the tour and heard the couple talking about Anderson being a police officer. The report says she asked the couple if they knew him and claims Robert Mathis said, “yeah we know him (or of him), we know who he is.”

Police records show Anderson and several encounters with Robert and Reyna Mathis dating back to 2008.

The couple denied having any memory of those interactions.

During a traffic stop in July 2008, Anderson pulled the couple over for speeding. An incident report referenced in the department’s investigation says Robert and Reyna Mathis got out of their vehicle during the stop, ultimately leading to Reyna Mathis striking Anderson in the face and eye.

She was arrested and ultimately pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer.

Anderson arrested Reyna Mathis again in October 2009 after she was allegedly involved in a bar fight in Muskegon. The city’s report says Anderson took her into custody on two outstanding warrants, but didn’t say anything further on the fight.

Anderson was also called to the couple’s home multiple times for domestic disputes. No charges were filed in any of the incidents.

Several performance reviews were included in the city’s report. In all of them, Anderson received high marks. He was referenced as “a good example for others to follow” and received compliments for his professionalism.

Anderson was placed on leave in two other instances during his career at the Muskegon Police Department, both for firing his service weapon. He was cleared of wrongdoing in both incidents.

Ultimately, Muskegon Police Chief Jeffrey Lewis decided to fire Anderson after the investigation and meetings with leaders in the faith-based social justice community.

In Lewis’ executive summary, he said they “have lost faith, confidence and trust in Officer Anderson.” He went on to say the leaders told him the city would go “wild” if Anderson was reinstated.

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21 comments

  • Danny G

    Add in what the report also said: More then one account of previous interactions with the two who accused him in the first place….the encounters they seemingly ‘forgot.’ Assault, drunk driving, refusal to comply with commands the list goes on.

  • Samantha Flores

    This is quite ridiculous! Fired after almost 22 years of service for having historical items in a home? We better all get rid of our cotton, wouldn’t want folks thinking the slaves picked it and we are all guilty of slavery!!! Hope he finds another SUCCESSFUL job!

    • tiredofthecrapola

      Nah, I hope he dies the Chief personally for having no backbone. The Mathis’s lied about never having contact before this with Anderson. Mrs. Mathis got arrested twice, once for Assaulting Anderson by punching him in the eye, and Mr. Mathis got pulled over for a OUI. He’s not going to walk away with his tail between his legs, he’s gonna go for the gold, and retire on the 6 figure settlement…

  • Wings

    Take them to court and sue the hell out of them for false termination
    What about others who gave Nazi artifacts in their homes ,should we fire them???
    Total bull crap
    What gives those people the right to take pictures of the inside of his house, sue them also
    Violated his rights

  • Michael

    So the complainants, who had been arrested by this officer multiple times, claim they have no recollection of the prior contacts with the officer?

    Do these two have so many interactions with police they don’t remember one from the other? I think this is clearly a dishonest couple who worked their way into this officer’s home with the intent to find something to complain about.

    “The community would go wild” is an interesting way to put it. Unfortunately that’s not a valid reason to terminate the officer. It sounds like the city will be hiring him back or paying him a good amount to go away.

  • RuralRte4

    Sounds as the community and the decision makers already have gone “wild.” Officer did no wrong doings, but loses his career because of other’s wrong doings. Reward the bad and shun good, sorry to Muskegon Co.

  • jerry

    THE COUPLE WHO MADE THE CHARGES ARE JUST MORE WORTHLESS BLACKS LOOKING FOR MONEY REHIRE THE POLICE MAN PAY HIM LOST WAGES CHARGE THEM WITH RACISM LOOK AT THERE PAST JUST MORE B S TRYING TO KEEP THE BLACKS IN THE RIGHT ALL THE TIME THEY ARE LOW LIFE P O S

  • Senior

    The faith-based social justice community mobsters should be arrested for threatening to incite a riot. The police chief and the city of Muskegon deserved to be sued for millions by Anderson for lacking a backbone.

  • JERRY

    THE COUPLE ARE WORTHLESS BLACKS WHO THINK THEY WILL GET FREE MONEY HIRE THE POLICE BACK PAY HIM LOST WAGES OR BETTER YET HE SHOULD SUE THE CITY AND CHARGE THE COUPLE WITH ENTERING HIS HOME WHEN THEY GOT NO MONEY TO BUY IT IN THE FIRST PLACE THEY ARE WHY WE NEED THE HANGING TREE ONCE MORE

  • lml25

    Agree with all of you–I posted similar and was censored. The real racists are the faith based,social justice groups–screaming for the policeman’s head–and they pulled the scam off

  • steve

    I have no way of knowing whether or not the cop is a racist. But, I’d be willing to bet that this was a setup from the beginning and the sleazy individuals are the offended blacks and their realtor, not the fired officer. This is nothing more than another case of political correctness negating common sense and decency.

  • RobertCrook (@RobertCrook)

    This smells like a set-up. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Mathises had an axe to grind with this officer. They did not just happen into the house as interested buyers:

    “When asked whether he had contact with one of the owners, Mathis said he did not. In addition, he admitted that he had run-ins with police in the past and may have been arrested by Anderson. The report later confirmed that the officer had six encounters with Robert and Reyna Mathis, dating to July 2008.”

  • LD800

    I’m guessing Mr. Anderson will be thanking the narrow minded MAYOR in Muskegon for the 6-7 figure settlement. A HUGE WASTE of our taxes to be spent on poor MAYORAL leadership decisions. So, facts aside, we will remove an officer due to threats of violence. It makes it look like Muskegon PD has no control. How embarrassing for a city that is looking for potential tourism businesses. Please send our Police “Advisors” and Mayor to LA or San Fran to work. Something tells me the Chief was ordered by IDIOTS. I’m with YOU Chief!!! Not the bimbo’s ordering you!! Dump the MAYOR who is hiding behind curtain!!!

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