Really? This story sounds shady at best. Consider this: The situation involving Borst and Hunnewell marks the second time in five years that Klansmen have been found in the Fruitland Park Police Department. In 2009, Officer James Elkins resigned after photographs showed him wearing in a white robe and hood, and he later admitted he was a leader of the local KKK.
“We cannot nor will we tolerate any philosophy that is inherently morally corrupt or one that espouses bigotry or any intolerance aimed at any groups or individuals because of their race, religion, ethnicity or gender or sexual orientation,” City Manager Gary La Venia told reporters. “This city is diverse, tolerant, it’s a welcoming community.”
Given the disturbing pattern in the Fruitland Park Police Department, how many other closet KKK members are serving as police officers in departments down South – and across the country? According to The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups and hate crimes, there are currently 939 known hate groups operating across the country, including neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, black separatists, border vigilantes and others. There are 58 hate groups in Florida alone, which is second in the nation behind California with 77.
Since 2000, according to The Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups has increased by 56 percent. The surge has been fueled by anger and fear over the nation’s ailing economy, an influx of non-white immigrants, and the diminishing white majority, as symbolized by the election of President Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president.
Florida Chief Deputy State Attorney Ric Ridgway told the Orlando Sentinel that the report contained “a lot of fairly substantial evidence that tends to support” Borst’s and Hunnewell’s Klan membership. But he added that it’s not illegal to belong to the KKK “even if you are the deputy chief.”
“It’s not a crime to hate people. It may be despicable, it may be immoral, but it’s not a crime,” he said.
At least one top cop in Fruitland Park, however, is playing down the controversy. “Since I’ve come here, I’ve been very, very hardcore and very strict on bringing this from the old culture into a new professional culture,” Police Chief Terry Isaacs told The Southern Poverty Law Center. “I’ve set strict guidelines as far as our ethics go, diversity training. I don’t allow any joking, any comments. I’m very strict on that. I was somewhat shocked. I did not expect that in 2014… We have not had a racial complaint since I’ve been here.”
Maybe not. But it’s hard to believe that a police chief who oversees a 12-man police department in a tiny town of 5,000 residents didn’t know that two of his officers were linked to the KKK.
Isaacs turned a blind eye — or he has terrible investigative skills.
In any case, it’s time to rid the nation’s police departments of racism, whether it comes wearing a hood and robe…or not.
What do you think?
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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