KKK membership sinks 2 Florida cops
A Florida deputy police chief has resigned and an officer has been fired because the FBI reported that both belonged to the Ku Klux Klan.
Fruitland Park Deputy Chief David Borst has denied involvement with the notorious white-hooded hate group that emerged after the Civil War and continued to terrorize and murder blacks through the mid-20th century.
The 49-year-old Borst, a department veteran of more than 20 years, was also fire chief for the Lake County city of 5,000, about 40 miles northwest of Orlando. He resigned both posts last week after being confronted with the FBI report.
Officer George Hunnewell, who was demoted last year over performance and attitude complaints, was fired on Friday by Chief Terry Isaacs.
The state attorney's office is reviewing every arrest made by the officers and giving particular scrutiny to cases involving minorities, Isaacs said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement gave Isaacs a summary of an FBI investigation based on information from a confidential source who linked both officers to the Klan. No criminal wrongdoing was found, and the FBI said no other officers were linked to the white supremacists.
Chief Deputy State Attorney Ric Ridgway, whom Isaac contacted for advice, 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 pointed out 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.
Because of that, Fruitland Park officials had to decide whether Borst and Hunnewell violated standards and ethics.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture mismanaged rural program, federal audit shows
- Quarantine lifted, Maine nurse given right to roam
- Medicare paid for drug coverage of patients who had died, investigators say
- Unaccompanied immigrants put heavy strain on schools, charities
- Ebola virus could overwhelm health care system, AP finds
- Nurse defies Maine quarantine in standoff over Ebola
- Open encrypted messages by updating technology access law, FBI Director Comey says
- Headaches linked to weight loss surgery
- Health-exchange subscribers have trouble finding doctors to accept their insurance
- As Marines depart Afghanistan, some ask whether gains will hold
- Nurse, Akron native who had Ebola discharged from hospital