An officer involved in policing the Ferguson protests has been relieved from his patrol duties after video footage emerged of him saying Muslims want to kill people and describing Barack Obama as “that illegal alien claiming to be president”.
Officer Dan Page of the St. Louis County Police Department has been placed in an administrative position pending an internal investigation after video of a speech he gave attacking Muslims in April was posted on YouTube.
In the hour-long ramble, the US military veteran is seen addressing a St. Louis chapter of the Oath Keepers, a conservative group of former servicemen, where he also boasted of previous killings.
He told the audience: “I'm also a killer. I've killed a lot, and if I need to I'll kill a whole bunch more. If you don't want to get killed, don't show up in front of me.
“I’m into diversity – I kill everybody”.
Page is the same officer who pushed and threatened to arrest CNN journalist Don Lemon while he was reporting live from protests in Ferguson over the shooting of teenager Michael Brown.
His speech quotes the declaration of independence’s statement that “all men are created equal”. He says: “That does not mean affirmative action. It means we’re all equal … God does not respect persons so we have no business passing hate crime laws. None. Because we're setting aside a group of people special."
Holding a copy of the Bible and referring to the justices of the supreme court, he tells the audience: “This here is the foundation for this [the declaration of independence]. You can’t separate them. I don’t know what them black-robed perverts don’t understand down there, but they need me to talk to them. I’ll square them away for you.”
Page also made disparaging remarks about Muslims, claiming “they will kill you” and expressed the view that the United States was on the verge of collapse.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar has apologised for the officer's “bizarre” remarks. In a statement, he said that while Page "has never been involved in an officer-involved shooting, the statements made about killing are unacceptable and not what we are about as a department".
Two days earlier, another St. Louis-area policeman, an officer from the town of St. Ann, was suspended indefinitely for pointing a semi-automatic assault rifle at a peaceful demonstrator and yelling obscenities.
The President of the Oath Keepers’ St Louis chapter told CNN Page was a guest speaker and not an affiliated member of the group.
The organisation said: "The statements made by Sargent Major Dan Page do not reflect the opinions of our local Oath Keeper Chapter, nor the national organization.
"Dan Page, speaking to the St. Louis/St. Charles, Missouri Chapter of Oath Keepers, explains how they plan to end American sovereignty and the Constitution, establishing martial law and merging the U.S. with the New World Order."
This article was updated on 26 August 2014. An earlier version misquoted Mr Page's reference to "black-robed perverts".