By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com August 25 2014 3:49 PM ET
Out CNN anchor Don Lemon helped bring to light video of a St. Louis County police officer making a speech filled with homophobic, racist, and sexist rhetoric, a revelation that has resulted in the officer’s suspension.
Lemon was shoved by the officer, Dan Page, while reporting last week from Ferguson, Mo., on the protests that followed the fatal shooting of unarmed black man Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb. The video he brought to the attention of Page’s supervisors was apparently made in 2012 and shows him giving a speech to an organization called Oath Keepers of St. Louis and St. Charles, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Oath Keepers’ website describes it as a group made up of current and former military personnel, police, and other first responders devoted to defending the U.S. Constitution.
In the rambling, hour-long speech, Page calls gay people in the military “sickening” and “pitiful,” rails against hate-crimes laws, and says four of the U.S. Supreme Court’s justices are “homosexual sodomites.” He calls President Obama “that illegal alien who claims to be our president,” says Muslims “will kill you,” and advises women to relax about “domestic violence stuff,” as couples who don’t get along should “just shoot each other and get it over with.”
He also warns Missouri’s U.S. senators, Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, that he is “real good with a rifle,” and says that while he is a Christian, he is nonetheless proud of being a killer. “I’ve killed a lot,” says Page, a former Green Beret and 35-year veteran of the police department. “And if I need to, I’ll kill a whole bunch more. … God did not raise me to be a coward.”
“With the comments on killing, that was obviously something that deeply disturbed me immediately,” St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar told the Post-Dispatch, although he said, “No one believes he was ever involved in a shooting or a fatal shooting.” Page’s biased comments, he said, are also “beyond the scope of acceptable police conduct.”
“Had he been a probationary officer doing the same thing, I would have fired him two hours ago,” Belmar added. An internal investigation into Page’s conduct begins today, the chief said.
The liberal advocacy group Political Research Associates also has found audio of Page being interviewed on radio shows hosted by right-wing activists Rick Wiles and John Moore. Page warns that the U.S. is in danger of being absorbed into a world government and claims that the Department of Homeland Security’s definition of a terrorist “is a Caucasian male 18-65, one who supports the Second Amendment, one who believes in the second coming of Jesus Christ, one that is against illegal immigration and is against homosexuality and has a definition of traditional marriage.” He also says “99.9 percent” of sexual assault accusations in the military are unfounded.
Watch video of Page’s Oath Keepers speech below.