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US cop faces death threats for denouncing ‘racist’ chief

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Officer Alex Stone, pictured in Clatskanie, Oregon, told AFP that he has received death threats from the local community and been racially abused since he and officer Zack Gibson filed a complaint earlier this summer/AFP

Officer Alex Stone, pictured in Clatskanie, Oregon, told AFP that he has received death threats from the local community and been racially abused since he and officer Zack Gibson filed a complaint earlier this summer/AFP

LOS ANGELES, United States, Sep 10 – A white US police officer who turned in his chief for allegedly making a series of racist slurs in reaction to a black woman’s complaint said Wednesday he fears for his life.

Officer Alex Stone, of the small city of Clatskanie, in the western state of Oregon, told AFP that he has received death threats from the local community and been racially abused since he and a fellow officer filed a complaint earlier this summer.

“Just yesterday one of the local business owners said he wanted to take me into the woods and shoot me in the head. Another said he wanted to string me up by a noose,” said the 36-year-old officer. “People are emailing me saying they hope I get shot in the head.

“My wife got run off the road twice… and my three children are scared,” he added. “I feel like people are telling me to leave.”

The case comes amid a renewed debate in the United States over race relations and police violence.

Protests have erupted in several cities across the country in recent months, touched off by perceived police brutality against unarmed black men or women.

Stone said he and officer Zack Gibson decided to come forward in August after watching “in complete bewilderment” as their police chief, Martin Hoover, pounded on his chest and howled like a monkey while being briefed about a complaint by a black suspect.

“We were just completely at a loss for words,” Stone said. “I was raised to believe that everyone is created in God’s image… and I won’t tolerate anyone, especially if they are in power, treating people as if they are less than human.”

He said when he expressed surprise at Hoover’s reaction, telling him that the woman filing the complaint had been injured, the chief said: “That’s what they deserve.”

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