MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — It has been about three weeks since Rob Mathis and his wife saw the Confederate placemats and Klu Klux Klan application hanging on a wall at the Holton Township home they visited for an open house.
Mathis posted pictures of what he found on social media.
When the Muskegon Police Department learned the home belonged to 20-year veteran Officer Charles “Chuck” Anderson, it acted.
“The absolute minute I heard about this, he was put on administrative leave,” Muskegon Police Chief Jeffrey Lewis told the Muskegon City Commission Tuesday night. “Which means that the person does not come and work in the building, he’s not on a light duty status or anything. He’s on leave.”
Since the discovery, the Muskegon Police Department has been conducting an internal affairs review of the case. Lewis said Wednesday the report had been in his hands for several days.
“What you saw on social media pretty much stands the way it is. There was no smoking gun, so to speak, nothing revealed to us that shocked us. It is what it is,” Lewis said.
The police chief would not talk on camera Wednesday but told News 8 that this case goes beyond the usual internal affairs investigation of an officer because of the community attention.
Lewis also could not say whether he expects Anderson to be back on the force after his report and recommendation is delivered to the commission on Sept. 9.
But for Rob Mathis, the chief’s statements are disappointing.
“The fact that the chief said there was no smoking gun — what more evidence do you need for a police officer than to have Confederate flags and KKK application on his wall?” Mathis asked. “If they say that they’re not surprised at what they found in the house, that means that they know he’s a racist cop, that’s how I’m taking it, but they can’t do nothing about it.”
Mathis said it was only because he went on social media and the photos gained public attention that the department took any kind of action against Anderson.
Mathis also said it’s clear Anderson cannot be impartial, pointing to numerous complaints about Anderson that were filed with the police department. The police chief said those complaints are being looked into.
“He should not wear a badge. He should not even work at Walmart as a greeter,” Mathis said.
Mathis said since the incident, he’s had to take his Muskegon area home off the market and he and his wife have been threatened on social media and elsewhere.
“I didn’t know that telling the truth and doing your moral duty would be so costly to me and my family,” he told News 8.
While Anderson has been on paid leave, his house did sell according to real estate records, but for about $100,000 less than it was listed for in May.
Mathis says he will be at the Sept. 10 Muskegon City Commission meeting to hear the police review.