White Kansas Official’s ‘Master Race’ Comment Draws Calls for His Resignation

The governor of Kansas is among several officials calling for a white county commissioner to resign after he used the term “master race” while addressing a black consultant at a public meeting this week.

The commissioner, Louis Klemp of Leavenworth County, made the remark on Tuesday while criticizing the options for developing land that were being presented by Triveece Penelton, who works for an architecture and design company.

According to a video recording of the meeting, Mr. Klemp said to Ms. Penelton: “I don’t want you to think I’m picking on you because we’re part of the master race. You know you’ve got a gap in your teeth. You’re the master race. Don’t ever forget that.”

After local news media reported on the comments, officials, including the two other county commissioners, called on him to resign, The Kansas City Star reported. On Saturday, Gov. Jeff Colyer, a Republican, added his name to the list, saying in a statement that “racial and discriminative language have no place in our society, and most especially when spoken by someone holding a public office.”

The idea of a “master race” is prominent in Nazi ideology. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas said in a Facebook post that Mr. Klemp’s remarks were “abhorrent.”

But Mark Loughry, the administrator of Leavenworth County, which is just outside Kansas City, said in a statement that Mr. Klemp’s comments were misconstrued and had nothing to do with Nazism.

Mr. Loughry said Mr. Klemp had used the term “master race” several times in the past year to refer to people with gaps in their front teeth, and his comment was meant to include both Ms. Penelton and himself.

Mr. Klemp did not respond to a message on Saturday. Neither Ms. Penelton nor Mr. Loughry could be reached for comment.

Mark Preisinger, the mayor of Leavenworth, said on Saturday that Mr. Klemp’s remark lacked “common decency” and showed he had no filter. But it was hardly the most inappropriate thing Mr. Klemp has said at an official meeting, Mr. Preisinger said.

In November 2017, when the commission was approving a holiday calendar, Mr. Klemp began a monologue during which he lamented that some historical figures were not honored anymore because they once owned slaves. “My great-great-grandfather had a slave,” he noted.

During his speech, Mr. Klemp called Robert E. Lee, the commander of the Confederate Army, a “wonderful part of history” and questioned why Martin Luther King’s Birthday should be recognized when there was not a similar day for George Washington. At that same meeting, he later acknowledged the existence of Presidents’ Day.

Mr. Klemp also said no one would understand Lincoln’s historical importance because the Confederacy did not win the Civil War, “which is all good, I guess.”

During the discussion about the holidays, he looked at a calendar in front of him and said: “I didn’t see Oprah on there. No, she’s not on there as a federal holiday.”

Mr. Preisinger said the “master race” remark was the last straw for many people. “It’s embarrassing,” he said. “It’s a stain on our community.”

Mr. Klemp was not elected to his post but chosen by members of the county Republican Party after the previous commissioner resigned because he was ill, said Rett Rogers, the party’s chairman. Mr. Rogers said Mr. Klemp was voted into the position last year by one vote.

Mr. Rogers did not cast his vote for Mr. Klemp — his wife was also in the running — but he said he preferred that Mr. Klemp not resign because his term is ending in January.

He said Mr. Klemp’s recent remark seemed to be intended as a joke. “That was taken in a completely different way,” he said.

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Man shoots buck with two heads. One had been dead for quite awhile.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources posted a photo earlier this week on Facebook of an unusual harvest: A buck with two heads.

One head was attached to the recently shot buck. The other was decomposing and tangled in the other head’s antlers. 

“It’s unclear exactly what circumstances led up to this buck’s carrying around another set of antlers and part of a decomposing carcass. Regardless, it was truly a rare harvest,” the Thursday post read.

Hunter Bob Long of Marshall County, Kentucky, bagged the deer the previous weekend, the hunter told KFVS-TV, Cape Girardeau, Mo., .

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Sgt. Tony Dunker with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife told that he suspects the decaying head belonged to a deer who had been dead for weeks after locking antlers in a fight. Ballard County, where the deer was shot, is in far western Kentucky where Illinois and Missouri meet, about 30 miles southeast of Cape Girardeau.

Dunker thinks that the bucks fought over territory or mates. After one died, its body decayed to the point where the head came loose, according to Dunker’s account.

“He packed it around a little while until Mr. Long came along,” Dunker said of the deer and the extra head. Residents in the area previously had spotted the buck alive with the decaying head in its antlers and taken pictures.

Contributing: WHAS-TV, Louisville, Ky. Follow Joel Shannon on Twitter: @JoelShannon91

 

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Train derailment forces town to evacuate, damages state highway

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DOOLY COUNTY, Ga. – A train derailed in south of Macon, forcing residents in one town to evacuate. 

The train went of the CSX line and onto Georgia 90 near Byromville around 7:00 a.m.Saturday morning. Residents within a half mile of the crash were evacuated because some of the cars were pressurized propane cars. 

Dramatic photos at the scene showed cars piled on top of each other in heaps of twisted metal. Parts of the road and the train trestle were damaged and the highway was shut down. 

Crews worked to remove 30 rail cars. The Georgia DOT said the repairs to the road and trestle could take weeks. 

CSX hazmat crews determined there were no leaks and people were allowed to return to their homes. No injuries were reported. 

Byromville is about 130 miles south of downtown Atlanta.

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Trump Awards Medal of Freedom to Republican Donor, Presley, Sports Legends

WASHINGTON—President Trump presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, to a prominent Republican donor, a veteran lawmaker, and music and sports icons at a White House ceremony Friday.

Mr. Trump hailed the seven honorees, some of whom were recognized posthumously, for their “outstanding contributions to American life and culture.”

East…

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Attorney petitions Supreme Court to declare Rod Rosenstein acting attorney general

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Jemel Roberson: Family demands police release name of cop who shot black security guard

MIDLOTHIAN, Ill. – An attorney for the partner of the black security guard who was shot to death by a suburban Chicago police officer this week called on investigators Friday to release the officer’s name – or he’ll do it himself.

Jemel Roberson, 26, was working security at a bar in Robbins, Illinois, early Sunday when a gunman opened fire inside the bar.

Roberson was armed and licensed to carry a gun. He apprehended the gunman outside the bar, pinned him down and was waiting for police help when a responding officer from the neighboring town of Midlothian arrived. 

Police say the officer ordered Roberson to drop his gun. Witnesses say they shouted that Roberson was a security guard. The officer shot and killed Roberson.

Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing the mother of Roberson’s 9-month-old son, accused Illinois State Police and the Midlothian Police Department of withholding the name of the officer to give him time to clean up his internet footprint and “hide evidence.”

Merritt also represents the family of Botham Jean, the Dallas man who was shot to death in his home in September by an off-duty police officer.

Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger has said she mistakenly entered the man’s apartment in the same complex where she lived. She has said she thought she was in her apartment, and Jean was an intruder.

Dallas Police kept Guyger’s name out of the public until she was arrested and charged with manslaughter, about 48 hours after the incident.

“They refused to release Amber Guyger’s name, which gave her a chance to scrub the internet and hide evidence,” Merritt told USA TODAY on Friday. “It’s exactly what’s going on here.”

Merritt said he’s learned the name of the Midlothian officer independently and plans to release it to the media on Monday if authorities haven’t by then.

Illinois State Police, which is investigating the shooting, referred questions on the officer’s identity to Midlothian Police. Officials in Midlothian did not respond to requests for comment.

Midlothian Police have confirmed that the officer is white, has been a police officer for about seven years, including four years with Midlothian, and is a team leader on a SWAT task force that includes officers from south suburban Chicago law enforcement agencies.

More: Police: Cop who shot security guard Jemel Roberson gave ‘multiple’ commands to drop weapon before firing

More: Police officer near Chicago fatally shot security guard who was detaining a suspect

The shooting outside Manny’s Blue Room Lounge in Robbins has drawn national headlines, outrage and questions about whether race factored into the officer’s decision to open fire. Roberson was black. The officer is white.

The person Roberson apprehended had allegedly fired a weapon inside the bar moments earlier, wounding multiple people and drawing police from surrounding jurisdictions to rush to the establishment.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting inside the bar. The state police Public Integrity Task Force is investigating the shooting outside the bar. No charges have been filed in either incident.

The task force has said the Midlothian officer was responding to reports of a shooting when he saw a man decked out in “plain black clothing with no markings readily identifying him as a security guard, armed with a gun.”

“According to witness statements, the Midlothian Officer gave the armed subject multiple verbal commands to drop the gun and get on the ground before ultimately discharging his weapon and striking the subject,” state police said.

Midlothian’s Police chief has praised Roberson as a brave man who was doing his job. He said he saw the incident ultimately as a “blue on blue,” friendly fire shooting.

Merritt accused Illinois State Police and Midlothian Police of releasing a slow drip of information “designed to exonerate this officer … and throw water on the community unrest.”

Merritt said witnesses have told him that Roberson was wearing a beanie-styled hat emblazoned with the word “SECURITY,” and a shirt and vest with similar markings.

The attorney said witnesses – some of whom he said were not interviewed by police – told him the officer did not give Roberson an opportunity to comply with his order to drop the gun.

“They’re (police) saying ‘We told him drop the gun and he didn’t, that there was time to reflect,’ ” Merritt said. “The people we’ve interviewed are saying ‘It was drop the gun – Pop! Pop! Pop!”

Roberson suffered multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Officer.

Roberson’s mother has filed a federal civil lawsuit against Midlothian and the officer.

Several Chicago area pastors and civil rights activist joined Merritt’s call to release the officer’s name. The Rev. Michael Pfleger, a prominent Catholic pastor and civil rights activist, said Midlothian should immediately fire the officer and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office should file murder charges.

Authorities say that officers from several jurisdictions were at the scene. The Midlothian officer is the only one who discharged his weapon.

“It was not a blue on blue,” Pfleger said. “It was blue-on-black crime. This was no accidental murder. This was racial profiling.”

LeAundre Hill, pastor at Chicago’s Purposed Church, said Roberson worked as an organist and musician at several Chicago-area churches and recently helped with the music at the funeral service for one of Hill’s relatives.

Roberson had a 9-month-old son with Avontae Boose. She is pregnant with their second child.

He planned to apply to become a police officer in the Chicago area.

Roberson had been hustling to pick up work wherever he could find it, Merritt said, so he’d have money to buy plenty of gifts for his son’s first Christmas. He had a paid gig to play organ at a Chicago church on the morning he was killed.

Boose had been nervous about being pregnant again, Merritt said, but Roberson had assured her they’d be fine.

“The idea to being pregnant again that soon after having her first child was kind of kind of scary,” Merritt said. “He was able to calm her down. He said, ‘I’m going to become a police officer. I am going to be able to provide for you and this family.’ ”

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