April V. Taylor
Two police officers from Fruitland Park, Florida are no longer with the department after it was determined that they were affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan. WFTV news is reporting that investigations by the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found that Deputy Police Chief David Borst and Cpl. George Hunnewell were members of a local chapter of the hate group.
Police Chief Terry Isaacs reports that the information was revealed to him by a confidential source from the FBI. There has been no other documentation provided other than the information given by the confidential source. Chief Isaacs stated that the officers’ involvement was “despicable and disgusting.”
Since affiliation with the KKK does not actually constitute a crime, the FBI turned over the investigation to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in an effort to determine if the officers’ involvement with the KKK was a violation of standards and/or ethics policies. Despite the fact that FDLE officials also determined that there was no crime committed, Chief Isaacs prepared an internal investigation and subsequently placed the two men on administrative leave.
When Borst was questioned about his involvement, he denied all allegations but immediately resigned from the department. He had been in law enforcement for more than 20 years.
Hunnewell did not immediately resign, but due to his previous record of being demoted, being forced to attend counseling, and receiving disciplinary action, Chief Isaacs requested approval from the city manager to fire him. Chief Isaacs received the approval and Hunnewell was fired a day after Borst resigned.
The FBI discovered the men’s affiliation with the KKK while conducting an international probe. No information as been released about what the probe was for. This is not the first time a member of the Fruitvale Park Police Department has been found to have ties to the KKK. Officer James Elkins resigned in 2009 after he admitted to being a leader in the local KKK following pictures surfacing of him in KKK gowns and hoods.