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January 28, 2022

A City Walks Into an Investigation

Last week's story continues, about a Michigan couple who walked into a police officer's house and made a disturbing discovery. This week: the police officer suffers the consequences and so does the couple.

Joan Wong

Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION.

Act One

Chief Lewis Adds It Up

The police chief in Muskegon conducts his own personal investigation into Officer Anderson’s interactions with Black people on the job. He doesn’t like what he discovers. (6  minutes)

Act Two

The Way It Actually Happened

Officer Anderson is fired based on the chief’s findings. But that’s not what’s said publicly. In fact, the official investigation released by the city makes no mention of Officer Anderson’s history with Black residents in Muskegon, much to the chagrin of some of the Black residents of Muskegon. (3 minutes)

Act Three

How To Fire a Police Officer

Muskegon’s chief of police explains why he decided he couldn’t mention any of the stuff he found troubling about Officer Anderson’s treatment of Black people on the job. No regrets! (6 minutes)

Act Five

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Turns out, the couple who originally brought Officer Anderson into the spotlight with their Facebook post had encountered Anderson before in Muskegon. Specifically, at a traffic stop where things got ugly. This is publicized in the city’s official report on Anderson, and the Mathises suffer further threats and harassment as a result. (13 minutes)

Act Six

Was It Worth It?

The Mathises consider if going public with what they found in Officer Anderson’s house was worth it, given what their personal lives have been like since. (5 minutes)

Coda

Coda

Ira and Ben consider how officers could be flagged for bad policing in a more systematic way, rather than the freak occurrence of a couple walking into an officer’s home and finding a KKK application up on his wall. (7 minutes)