A police chief in Oregon retired this week after officers say he responded to an accusation of racism by imitating a monkey, singing “Dixie” and pantomiming a beating, KOIN reports.
In papers obtained by the station, officers allege that Clatskanie Police Chief Marvin Hoover made the racist display when they attempted to debrief him on the arrest of black woman who threatened to file a discrimination lawsuit.
“I relayed several of the arrestee’s remarks such as, ‘When you look at me, my black and my nappy hair, all you see is animal,’” writes Officer Dustin Stone in his official report to the Oregon Department of Public Safety. “Chief Hoover interrupted me and said, ‘That’s what she is.’”
Chief Hoover then began to act like a monkey. Chief Hoover placed his hands in his armpits and began scratching them. Chief Hoover also started making loud monkey sounds: “Hooo...hooo.....hooo....hahahaha...hooo.....haaah” While Chief Hoover was scratching and chanting, he started to move around the room, in a dance or jumping fashion. While jumping and moving about the room Chief Hoover momentarily beat his chest like Tarzan.
I attempted to proceed with my brief until Chief Hoover interrupted me again. This time Chief Hoover said, “That’s what they deserve.” Chief Hoover then started to sing the words to Dixieland: “In a land of cotton...old times they’re no forgotten...look away...look away...look away...Dixieland.” While singing, Chief Hoover knelt on his right knee and began to make a punching motion with his right fist. While making a punching motion, Chief Hoover held his left hand in front of him in a gripping motion, as if he was holding a person by the shirt collar. In addition, while singing the words “look away” Chief Hoover moved his head back-and-forth to his left and right as if he was looking over his shoulder.
“[T]hanks Chief Hoover for a job well done,” wrote Clatskanie Mayor Diane Pohl in a public letter announcing the police chief’s retirement on Friday. “You have this community’s gratitude, gratefulness and appreciation. Enjoy your retirement knowing we will miss you and wish you all the best. Just take it easy on the elk, bear and fish that you will have more time to pursue!”
For his part, Officer Stone says he’s been harassed other Clatskanie residents since filing the report.
“I’ve already faced a lot of retaliation, my wife’s been forced off the road twice,” Stone told KOIN. “I’ve had people in the community yelling the N-word at me.”