ST. LOUIS – Officials suspended a 35-year-veteran of the St. Louis County police force who has been working the streets of Ferguson for making violent and offensive comments in a recently-surfaced video.In the video, filmed in 2010, Dan Page can be seen threatening to kill anyone who “show[s] up in front of me,” and promoting various hateful conspiracy theories about Muslims and President Obama’s birthplace.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told the St. Louis Post Dispatch on Saturday that he placed the officer on administrative leave, pending an internal affairs investigation. “Had he been a probationary officer doing the same thing, I would have fired him two hours ago,” Belmar told the paper.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Belmar apologized, saying Page’s views do not reflect that of the department or its officers.
The OathKeepers are a group of current and former police officers and military servicemembers who vow to disobey orders they consider unconstitutional. It has ties to right-wing militias and other so-called Patriot groups .
One of the orders the group says it will not obey is to “impose martial law or a ‘state of emergency.’” Page was part of the heavy police crackdown in Ferguson during unrest following the killing of Michael Brown.
In the YouTube video of Page’s speech to the OathKeepers, the officer brags about his ability to take life. “I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord savior, but I’m also a killer. I’ve killed a lot. And if I need to, I’ll kill a whole bunch more,” he says. “I’m into diversity. I kill everybody, I don’t care.”He also makes offensive comments about Muslims and says that he retired early from the Army Reserves because he didn’t want to take orders from “an undocumented president.” (“He was born in Kenya,” Page adds of Obama.)
Page first came to world’s attention after he shoved CNN reporter Don Lemon, who then sent the OathKeeper video to Belmar.
Meanwhile, an officer in the small St. Louis suburb of Glendale was also suspended after posting on Facebook that those protesting Brown’s death should have been “put down like rabid dogs” on the first night of turmoil, according to the Post-Dispatch.
A third officer was suspended earlier for pointing a rifle at unarmed protesters and threatening to kill them.