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  1. #1
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    Florida Officer Resigns Over KKK Allegations

    FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. --
    A Fruitland Park police officer resigned after an investigation revealed that he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Eyewitness News discovered that officer James Elkins quit his job when the Fruitland Park Police Department opened an investigation.
    Someone sent photographs of Elkins dressed as a KKK member and KKK certificates to the Lake County Sheriff's Office (see the photos). The agency decided to let the police chief of Fruitland Park handle the situation, but by that time Elkins had already quit.
    James Elkins was off and on with the police department for nearly five years. In the pictures, Elkins was dressed in green and white with an old KKK uniform and a hand on his gun.
    "Yes I am an ex-Klansman and I'm done," Elkins told Eyewitness News.
    Elkins resigned two weeks ago after allegations that he was handing out KKK literature, which has recently surfaced in Brevard, Sumter and Lake counties.
    "It took a long time to realize what was going on was wrong. I regret everything about that life. I wish I had never gotten involved," he said.
    Eyewitness News confronted both Elkins and the police chief about the cases he may have handled involving minorities.
    "Why not fire him on the spot?" WFTV reporter Kenneth Moton asked.
    "Because the police bill of rights and I have to do an Internal Affairs investigation because it's an accusation," Fruitland Park Police Chief Mark Isom said.
    Isom said an Internal Affairs investigation discovered the Sumter County PO Box on the KKK literature was registered to Elkins.
    "It's an embarrassment to this department, it's disgusting and we do not tolerate this kind of conduct," Isom said.
    Elkins said the pictures were taken within the last year while he was off-duty on workman's compensation.
    Fruitland Park investigators said the KKK certificates with Elkins' name on them show he's been hiding behind the robes of hate since at least 2006.
    "Were you racially profiling?" Moton asked Elkins.
    "No sir," he responded.
    "Are you looking at his stops?" Moton asked Chief Isom.
    "No sir, because I think my supervisors would have caught that because he was never on by himself," Isom responded.
    The chief admits he can't be sure Elkins wasn't trying to recruit others while on active duty.
    "But I think the citizens in this town would have come forward to me," he said.
    The chief said Elkins can't be stripped of his law enforcement certification, because he hasn't done anything criminally wrong.
    Eyewitness News also asked the chief how he can be sure the other hooded men in the photographs were not law enforcement officers.
    Chief Isom said they could be, but he doesn't believe they're on his force.

  2. #2
    Ryan's Avatar
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    Group association is not a crime, so I don't feel like he should have to resign. His membership should have been found out in a background investigation, and I would guess that it was. If he lied at any point, he should be shown the door, but absent some form of dishonesty I would say he should keep his job.

    Also, he is an ex-member. He admits he regrets the decision to join. I am sure he is not the only cop in the U.S. with group associations in the past that they would like to forget
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  3. #3
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    Disagree with you strongly , Ryan. Any officer that is found to be a member of an organization with the history of violence , hatred, intimidation and civil rights violations as the KKK should be fired. An officer that is a member of such an organization serves to undermine the public's confidence in law enforcement's ability to fairly and impartially enforce the law. I would personally question an officer's integrity and loyality toward law enforcement , if the officer was a member of such an organization as the KKK. I would feel the same way if the organization was the Hell's Angels , Black Panthers , Black Liberation Organization or any of the anti-government militia groups.
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  4. #4
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    He resigned on his own not because he was told to. Good riddance. The KKK is nothing more than a terrorist organizatioin. These people are engaged in criminal activitiy and most won't do anything about it. The KKK is tolerated as are most organizations like them.
    A person that has a life attitude based on the superiority of any race over another has NO business in law enforcement. We should be an organization of caring of all people equally. This is regardless of race, color, creed, religion etc.
    You want me fired up? This will do it. (and yes it should have been found during the background investigation unless he joined the KKK after joining the agency)
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisipso View Post
    He resigned on his own not because he was told to. Good riddance. The KKK is nothing more than a terrorist organizatioin. These people are engaged in criminal activitiy and most won't do anything about it. The KKK is tolerated as are most organizations like them.
    A person that has a life attitude based on the superiority of any race over another has NO business in law enforcement. We should be an organization of caring of all people equally. This is regardless of race, color, creed, religion etc.
    You want me fired up? This will do it. (and yes it should have been found during the background investigation unless he joined the KKK after joining the agency)
    !00% agreed.


    Ryan, you say group association is not a crime and he regrets joining so that should be okay? How would you feel then if an officer were to be, or have previously been, a member of a group such as NAMBLA?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain America View Post
    Disagree with you strongly , Ryan. Any officer that is found to be a member of an organization with the history of violence , hatred, intimidation and civil rights violations as the KKK should be fired. An officer that is a member of such an organization serves to undermine the public's confidence in law enforcement's ability to fairly and impartially enforce the law. I would personally question an officer's integrity and loyality toward law enforcement , if the officer was a member of such an organization as the KKK. I would feel the same way if the organization was the Hell's Angels , Black Panthers , Black Liberation Organization or any of the anti-government militia groups.
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  7. #7
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    Just to clarify, my personal belief is that the guy should be canned. I have no tolerance for hate groups of any form. The point of my post, which I failed to put into words properly, is that he should not be forced to resign over an error made by a B.I. If he was told he was good to go, I would guess that he assumed his prior associations did not matter.

    My post was simply meant as an observation. When I said group association is not illegal I was referring to groups like gangs, outlaw motorcycle clubs, and racist groups. It isn't illegal to be a crip, but crips tend to do illegal things.
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  8. #8
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    I feel it's a personal decision. If he felt he needed to quit, then he needed to quit.
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  9. #9
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    While being a member of an "organization" (I use that word loosely) isn't a crime there are several such "organizations" that don't belong in police work. Any of the known gangs, terrorist organizations, KKK, Black liberation, etc, etc. I don't care if the member committed any crimes while a member or not, its enough to know that they were involved with the group in question.
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  10. #10
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    I don't feel he should have been allowed to resign. He should have been canned so that he forever has to put that on future job applications (not that any agency would touch him with a ten foot pole after this).
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  11. #11
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    (flame suit on)
    I say it depends on his actions. Had he A) ever participated in a crime acting as a member or B) ever let his personal predjudices show in any way shape or form during his police work, then fire his ass.

    However, there truly are naive people out there that think the KKK isn't involved in terrorism, or at least think that today's klan doesn't do the same things as it once did. If he never participated in any crime, and did his job treating all equally regardless of their race, regardless of his predjudice against them, then I wouldn't say he deserves to lose his career. However I'd probably quit too if I were him because he will never be able to arrest a black person again without a racial inquiry being done.

    I disagree with his opinion and predjudices, but if he wants to have them, and he wants to assemble with people of like minded thinking, that's his right.
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  12. #12
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    I don't think anyone should be forced to resign because of being a member of a political group. Hell, if the President can associate himself with a known Domestic Terrorist...
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhino View Post
    I don't think anyone should be forced to resign because of being a member of a political group. Hell, if the President can associate himself with a known Domestic Terrorist...
    I didn't vote for the President in part because of that. The KKK is a little past being a political group , Rhino. There is a stigma that goes with the Klan because of it's past history which included members of law enforcement who were also Klansmen using their authority as peace officers (i.e. phony traffic stops) to facilitate kidnappings and murders.
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    Again just being a member of such a group is enough to fire him or not hire him in the first place. Its no different if a member of the Crips, Bloods, Latin Kings, or even Al Qaida comes to your dept for a job. Would you hire any of there members if they could prove that they didnt commit a crime while a member?? I wouldn't, it goes to their character, morals, and beliefs.
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    He should have been fired. The department has every right to take a vested interest in off duty associations that can discredit the agency or bring shame on its officers. There's no way an agency can win the court of public opinion on racial profiling if they allow officers who belong to the KKK. I don't care if you are participating in legal behavior, the department has a right to protect its image.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
    Group association is not a crime, so I don't feel like he should have to resign.


    When I said group association is not illegal I was referring to groups like gangs, outlaw motorcycle clubs, and racist groups. It isn't illegal to be a crip, but crips tend to do illegal things.
    You're correct, it isn't criminal.

    It is called CONDUCT, and you can be fired for conduct in this business. Sometimes agencies try to go too far with that, but this doesn't sound like such a case to me.

    This isn't a political group, it is an established criminal organization.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisipso View Post
    He resigned on his own not because he was told to. Good riddance. The KKK is nothing more than a terrorist organizatioin. These people are engaged in criminal activitiy and most won't do anything about it. The KKK is tolerated as are most organizations like them.
    A person that has a life attitude based on the superiority of any race over another has NO business in law enforcement. We should be an organization of caring of all people equally. This is regardless of race, color, creed, religion etc.
    You want me fired up? This will do it. (and yes it should have been found during the background investigation unless he joined the KKK after joining the agency)
    Well said and Absolutely Right, thank you!

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  19. #19
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    Yeah...he definitely should not have resigned..he should have had his ass canned and tossed out into the street on his ear. Fucking people like this make me sick to my stomach.
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    Hell, Senator Robert Byrd, the senior Democratic member of the Senate is a former member of the KKK.

    That being said, he should have never been hired to begin with. They must have done little or no background investigation. Probably gave him a polygraph and called it good. Which is why I've vehemently opposed to using polygraphs for hiring purposes. They accuracy is too iffy and I've often suspected some depts rely too much on it and don't do adequate investigations. But that's another soapbox......
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