KKK magazine put in black officer's mailbox; Captain suspended - WKRN News 2

KKK magazine put in black officer's mailbox; Captain suspended

Posted: Updated: May 21, 2014 04:39 AM
A Millersville police officer is upset about getting Ku Klux Klan material in his police department mailbox. A Millersville police officer is upset about getting Ku Klux Klan material in his police department mailbox.
It had a Post-it note that read, “This was left for you. Don't let your subscription run out.” It had a Post-it note that read, “This was left for you. Don't let your subscription run out.”
MILLERSVILLE, Tenn. - A Millersville police officer is upset about getting Ku Klux Klan material in his police department mailbox.

The incident happened last year when Anthony Hayes found a KKK magazine placed inside his mailbox at work.

It had a Post-it note that read, “This was left for you. Don't let your subscription run out.”

Hayes is speaking out about the incident for the first time. He believes the city mishandled the case and the punishment was too light.

He told News 2 that he was offended and disappointed when he first received the magazine.

“You’re black, you’re white, whatever the case may be, this stuff shouldn’t be in the workplace. I don’t think this is funny,” Hayes explained.

He waited to report the incident, leaving the publication in his police mailbox for weeks.

Once he lodged a formal complaint, an investigation was launched, which included interviews and taking handwriting samples from every member of the police department.

As a result of the investigation, city officials told News 2 the note was written by Mark Palmer, a long-time police captain.

Palmer, a 17-year veteran, was suspended for three days without pay.

According to city manager Robert Mobley, the captain admitted to writing the note, but denies putting the KKK magazine in officer Hayes’ mailbox.

Hayes told News 2 he doesn’t see the caption much, but when it does it is uncomfortable.

“I thought we were friends. Real friends don't do this,” he said. “This type stuff don't [sic] need to be in the workplace. It’s degrading, got my family upset thinking that something is going to happen to me.”

The incident has led to a required sensitivity training for every single Millersville city employee starting mid-June.

The city manager told News 2 the city acted swiftly and took the matter seriously.

“Let me just say, we consider this extremely serious. A combo of things is serious about it,” Mobley explained. “First of the all, the offense itself. It’s just inappropriate, whether it was meant as humor or not, it doesn’t matter. It was inappropriate.”

He added that their swift action is about letting everyone know that the city does not tolerate it.

Mobley did say, however, that there was never any malice or intent to harm, so the issue was never investigated as a crime.

Ray Whitley, the Sumner County District Attorney, confirms that he first heard of the issue when Nashville’s News 2 Investigates brought it to his attention.

Palmer declined to comment, but police chief Ronnie Williams told News 2 that “Palmer is sorry it happened, and the department is not racist and never has been.”

He added that the department is a family.

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