Officer Dan Page Suspended After Video of Racist Speech Shows Him Promising to "Kill Everybody"
Although the tension in Ferguson, Missouri is reportedly beginning to die down, the mistrust in the police force is still far from being alleviated. It certainly won't help matters that a video has come out showing St. Louis Officer Dan Page making a racist and homophobic speech back in 2012 — Page being the same officer who assaulted CNN reporter Don Lemon during the Ferguson protests earlier this month. He's now been suspended, but the question remains: what was an openly racist cop doing supervising the protests in the first place?
The hour-long diatribe — which insults everyone from gays to President Barack Obama — was given to the Oath Keepers of St. Louis and St. Charles. Never heard of the ominous-sounding Oath Keepers? They're actually a national "non-partisan" group of "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'.” Those enemies, apparently — at least according to Page — include everyone who's not white, heterosexual and Christian. And he's ready to kill them all.
Standing at the podium, he says:
I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord savior, but I'm also a killer. I’ve killed a lot. And if Ineed to, I'll kill a whole bunch more. If you don't want to get killed, don't show up in front of me, it's that simple. I have no problem with it. God did not raise me to be a coward.
And in case you didn't get the point:
Policemen are very cynical. I know I am. I hate everybody. I'm into diversity. I kill everybody.
Gripping a Bible, he tells the group:
[All men created equal] does not mean affirmative action. It means we’re all equal … God does not respect persons so we have no business passing hate crime laws. None. Because we're setting aside a group of people special.This here is the foundation for this [the declaration of independence]. You can’t separate them. I don’t know what them black little perverts don’t understand down there, but they need me to talk to them. I’ll square them away for you.
On Muslims, he had this little gem:
Muslims are passive until they gain parity with you or they exceed you in numbers and they will kill you.
Brandishing a picture of himself in Kenya, he says:
I said ‘I wanna go find where that illegal alien claiming to be my president, my undocumented president, lives at.'
And just to throw some homophobia on there, as well, he adds:
In the military right now we have open sodomy, people holding hands, people swapping spit together. Sick. It’s pitiful.
Thankfully, Officer Page has now been taken off the street and been put into an "administrative position" while the St. Louis County Police Department investigates the video. He's been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar has publicly apologized for Page.
Still, there's something wrong here. How was he able to stay on the force for so long? How did no one flag this man — a self-professed indiscriminate killer — as a potential problem?
Maybe he kept this part of his personality super secret, and was just a friendly, affable guy to his co-workers. Maybe the police force turned a blind eye to the occasional derogatory comment, or had bigger fish to fry. It's possible. But if so, then a dire change in policy is needed, now more than ever, to make sure that the people holding guns, and arresting citizens, are fair-minded and sane. Otherwise it's mayhem. Otherwise it's terrifying.