DanPage

 

ST. LOUIS – Among the many side stories that emerged from the coverage of the unrest following the racially charged shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was the bizarre behavior of St. Louis County Officer Dan Page.

 

Last week, Page allegedly pushed CNN’s out-gay anchor Don Lemon live on the air in an effort to shut down an interview. Then an inflammatory video emerged of the officer disparaging minority groups, including the LGBT community.

 

Page delivered the remarks to a group called the Oath Keepers of St. Louis and St. Charles. Formed in 2009, Oath Keepers pledge to uphold the Constitution and are drawn from the military, law enforcement and emergency responders. The group is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "far-right... fiercely anti-government, militaristic group."

 

"Officer Page’s reprehensible comments clearly crossed the line and demonstrate how a minority of police officers have caused broken trust with communities from Ferguson out across the country,” said Philip Deitch, LGBT liaison to St. Louis County and several other regional police departments.

 

County Police Chief Jon Belmar suspended Page after watching the video. Belmar told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he would have fired Page if a review weren't first required. The review begins this week and Page will be told to undergo a psychological evaluation, according to reports.

 

A 35-year veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department, Page criticized President Barack Obama, Muslims and gays in the military.

 

Page can be heard on the video calling retired US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens a 'homosexual sodomite' – stating there are now 'four sodomites on the Supreme Court.'

 

On gays in the military: 'In the military right now, you have open sodomy, people holding hands. Swapping spit together. Sick. It's pitiful,' spouted Page.

 

He also bragged about killing.

 

'I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord savior, but I'm also a killer. I’ve killed a lot,' said Page. 'And if I need 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.'

 

'I'm into diversity. I kill everybody, I don't care,' stated Page.

 

As one of the few openly gay police officers on the St. Louis County Police Department, Sergeant Keith Wildhaber was deeply disappointed by Page’s comments.

 

“In my twenty years with the St. Louis County, I can ensure you that his comments are not representative of the St. Louis County Police Department or the police officers I have the pleasure to work with on a daily basis,” said Wildhaber.

 

"In speaking to other gay and lesbian officers of the St. Louis County Police Department, we all agree that while Officer Page's comments were troubling, this is an isolated incident,” Wildhaber continued. “Chief Belmar's actions in immediately suspending Officer Page and addressing the issue with the media were handled appropriately."

 

Wildhaber went on the explain that Chief Belmar and retired Chief Tim Fitch have gone to great lengths to ensure that the St. Louis County Police Department has an open dialog with the LGBT Community.  For the first time in department history, both Chief Belmar and retired Chief Fitch participated in the St. Louis LGBT Pride Parade and supported a recruiting booth at PrideFest. 

 

Below is a video of Page's full speech.

 

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