Texas Troopers May Have Posed in KKK Hoods
HOUSTON--The Texas Department of Public Safety said yesterday it is investigating photographs taken in 1989 that show several state troopers posing in Ku Klux Klan-style hoods next to a black colleague, Darren Anderson, who displayed the pictures at a news conference.
In the photos, Anderson is smiling and holding a large cake for his 24th birthday, surrounded by fellow troopers wearing the pointed white hoods associated with the white supremacist group.
"I didn't know what to do other than smile," said Anderson, who was suspended from his job in May, indicted on arson charges in June and told in November he would be fired. "I went home and I cried like a baby."
Anderson said he had suffered persistent racial harassment from white co-workers at the agency's office in Livingstone, some 60 miles north of Houston, but had not previously spoken out for fear of reprisals.
The Department of Public Safety said it abhorred racism and the Ku Klux Klan and vowed to investigate what it called repulsive photos.
Gov. George W. Bush "will not tolerate racist behavior and hopes the DPS gets to the bottom of this totally inappropriate incident as soon as possible," Bush's office said in a statement.
A retired state trooper, Jack Tyler, who identified himself as one of the men in the photos, told Houston television station KHOU that the incident had been meant as a joke but added that it reflected poor judgment.
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