DA probes allegations of bias in Hempstead Village PD after ‘KKK shirt’ is found

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HEMPSTEAD -

Authorities are investigating a potential bias incident after a white shirt with eye holes cut out and the message “KKK VIOLATE civil rights” was found inside a locker room at the Hempstead Village Police Department.

Officials say the shirt was found by a white Hempstead officer at his locker last Tuesday morning.

Hempstead Village Police Chief Paul Johnson says the department immediately turned over the investigation to the Nassau District Attorney's Office. A spokesperson for the DA says, "The NCDA is aware of the allegations. We have been in contact with the Hempstead Police Department and we are reviewing the allegations with the assistance of the Nassau County Police Department."

Chief Johnson says he doesn’t believe there are racial tensions between the officers in the department.

This isn’t the first time the Hempstead Village Police Department has faced a controversy centered on a possible bias crime. In 2007, a janitor found a noose in the police locker room. That incident remains an open case.

Some village residents told News 12 that the incident proves to them that racial tension can be found in every corner of society right now.

“Things need to get better – somehow, some way,” said resident Kervens Metellus.

Mayor Don Ryan says he does not believe this incident is reflective of the police department as a whole. Chief Johnson says he made sure his officers knew how disappointed he is, and explained to them that they cannot allow an issue like this to rip the department apart.

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