Cop Who Pushed CNN Anchor in Ferguson Suspended Over Racist Speech

Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 07:42 AM

By Todd Beamon

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A St. Louis County police officer who pushed back a CNN anchor during a live broadcast from Ferguson, Missouri, this week was suspended after a video surfaced of a speech in which he slammed African Americans, gays, and President Barack Obama — and described himself as "a killer."

Meanwhile, an officer in a neighboring community was suspended for lashing out on Facebook at protesters in Ferguson.

Officer Dan Page, a 35-year veteran of the St. Louis County force, was suspended in connection with remarks he made several months ago in a speech to the Oath Keepers organization, Mediaite reports. The comments were first reported by CNN.

Founded in March 2009, Oath Keepers describes itself as a "nonpartisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to 'defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.'"

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Among his remarks in the video, Page discusses the "four sodomites on the Supreme Court" and refers to Obama as the "undocumented president" from Kenya.

Page also described himself as "a killer."

"I've killed a lot — and if I need to, I'll kill a whole bunch more," he said. "If you don't want to get killed, don't show up in front of me. That simple. I have no qualms with it."

On Monday, Page was filmed pushing back CNN anchor Don Lemon during his coverage of the unrest in Ferguson precipitated by the Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson, who is white.

A St. Louis County grand jury convened Friday to hear evidence in the case. It consists of six white men, three white women, two black women, and one black man. Nine votes are needed to indict.

The ages and hometowns of the jurors weren't released. A judge is expected to consider Monday whether to make that information public.

The Justice Department is also investigating Brown's death.

Later Friday, Police Chief Jon Belmar apologized for Page's remarks, Mediaite reports.

"As police chief, it’s embarrassing when you find out about stuff like this," Belmar told Lemon on Friday. He said the video had been on YouTube since April.

Belmar said he does not personally use social media — and, as such, a video like Page's could be "difficult to unearth at times."

"They are not indicative of the St. Louis County Police Department," Belmar said of Page's remarks. "They’re not indicative of the officers that he works beside, and frankly, he’s let them down."

In connection with the Facebook posts, the Glendale Police Department said it suspended Officer Michael Pappert Friday for a series of posts.

"I'm sick of these protesters. You are a burden on society and a blight on the community," Pappert wrote in one of at least five posts that have gone up since Sunday.

"These protesters should have been put down like a rabid dog the first night," he added.

In a reference to the Boston Marathon bombing, he also wrote: "Where is a Muslim with a backpack when you need them."

The Glendale Police Department, suspended Pappert upon learning about the posts on Friday. It also cancelled a neighborhood block party for fear it might be disrupted by protesters.

"The matter is being taken very seriously and a thorough internal investigation will be conducted to determine why the posts were made," it said.

It stressed that Pappert's posts were "absolutely" not shared by the Glendale police or city government. The suburb of 6,000 is 97 percent white.


AFP contributed to this report.

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