A Missouri police officer involved in maintaining security in troubled Ferguson was put on administrative leave Friday after a video surfaced showing him railing about the Supreme Court, Muslims, and his past -- and perhaps, he said, his future -- as "a killer."
The officer, Dan Page of the St. Louis County Police Department, became something of a familiar face to many earlier this month when video showed him pushing back CNN's Don Lemon and others in a group in Ferguson. At the time, CNN was reporting on the large-scale and at times violent protests calling for the arrest of a white Ferguson police officer who shot and killed African-American teenager Michael Brown.
But it's another video that led St. Louis County police officials to say they had removed Page from his post and had started a process that will likely include the department's internal affairs unit investigating and a psychological evaluation of the officer.
"(I) apologize to the community and anybody who is offended by these remarks, and understand from me that he ... does not represent the rank-and-file of the St. Louis County Police Department," county Police Chief Jon Belmar told CNN. Belmar called the video "so bizarre."
CNN placed several phone calls Friday to what's believed to be Page's home number seeking comment on the video and disciplinary action against him, but never got a response.
Posted to YouTube and highlighted by CrooksandLiars.com, the video shows the military veteran talking for about an hour to an Oath Keepers group. According to its website, Oath Keepers is "a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to 'defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.'"
The president of the Oath Keepers' St. Louis/St. Charles chapter, Duane Weed, told CNN that Page was a guest speaker and is not a member of his group. A link to the video of his speech was posted to the local chapter's Facebook page on April 23 -- a day after it happened -- along with text that highlighted what Page had to say about the dangers of private contractors in war zones.
That was just one of many topics Page touched on, sometimes jokingly and at other times very seriously.
In his rambling remarks on the video, he talks about what he describes as a draft replacement for the U.S. Constitution, the "four sodomites on the Supreme Court," and a visit to Kenya "to our undocumented President's home." He refers to Barack Obama as "that illegal alien who claims to be our President."
Page frequently references violence, including nine combat tours in the Army, during which he did "my fair share of killing."
Speaking about Muslims, he says pointedly: "They will kill you."
On domestic disputes, he opines: "You don't like each other that much, just kill each other and get it over with. Problem solved. Get it done."
On urban violence, he predicts that "when the inner cities start to ignite, people are going to start killing people they don't like."
And lastly, Page says, "I personally believe the Lord Jesus Christ is my savior, but I'm also a killer. I've killed a lot and, if I need to, I will kill a whole bunch more."
"If you don't want to get killed, don't show up in front of me."
Belmar, the head of the St. Louis County police department, said all the talk about killing was especially disturbing to him.
"As a police chief, that's something I'm not going to be able to endure," Belmar said.
Read the full statement below:
AnneClaire Stapleton contributed to this report.
By Greg Botelho