A White police officer in west Michigan has filed a lawsuit against his White police chief for calling him “Kunta” and other disparaging names after the officer took an ancestry test and found out he has Black (African) blood flowing through his veins.
Cleo Brown, MLive reports, took an ancestry test and shared his results with fellow officers in the Hastings Police Department, which he now regrets (Hastings, Michigan, is about a three-hour drive west of Detroit near Lake Michigan). Ever since, the White officer has had to deal with rabid racism for disclosing his “18 percent Black” results.
Brown is suing the police chief and city over allegations on the grounds of racist bullying, such as the chief referring to him as “Kunta” — a reference to Kunta Kinte from the legendary slavery movie Roots” — while other officers would hiss the words “Black Lives Matter” and pump their fists when he walked past.
That’s not all. At a recent Christmas party, the department hung stocking with Santa figurines. Brown’s stocking was filled with a Black Santa, replete with “18%” written on its beard.
The city is countering that Brown started the “joking banter.” They say that Ancestry.com, where he got his test, does not have an “African American” category for results. Therefore, the city says, Brown was the one who falsely shared that information.
“Sgt. Brown, in a very joking and jovial manner, informed several of his fellow officers that he had recently taken a DNA test through Ancestry.com and the results showed that he was 18 percent African American,” the statement said. The city also noted that Ancestry.com’s website did not include “African American” as a possible result.
Brown’s lawsuit also names Mayor Frank Campbell as joining in on the banter. During passing, the mayor is quoted as saying to him, “Hey, I got a joke for you guys,” and proceeded to tell a racist joke using the word, “Negroid,” at least two or three times, the lawsuit claimed.