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Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who repeatedly points to the “pandemic of racism” when speaking of his brother’s life sentence, conveniently has been leaving out details that his brother was a corrupt police officer convicted of facilitating a cross-country drug trafficking operation, a report says.
The Washington Free Beacon reported that Warnock’s half-brother, Keith Coleman, a former officer for the Savannah Police Department, was convicted on Nov. 21, 1997, of conspiring and attempting to aid and abet the distribution of cocaine and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking offense.
The newspaper cited recently obtained records that detail how prosecutors painted Coleman as the ringleader in an illegal scheme in which he used his police-issued firearm and department vehicle to escort purported drug dealers as they drove kilos of cocaine to airports, hotels and warehouses.
But in public statements, especially since the killing of George Floyd in May 2020, Warnock has left out the detail that his brother served in law enforcement in claiming Coleman was a “first-time” and “nonviolent” drug offender sentenced to life in prison because of the “pandemic of racism.”
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., is seen in the U.S. Capitol before the senate luncheons on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
The senator has compared Coleman to Black victims of police shootings, saying his life sentence was a result of the “stigma of color and criminality.” Even though all his appeals were rejected, Coleman was released in June 2020 after serving 22 years behind bars amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19 within prison populations. Warnock said his release showed “hope” for the criminal justice system.
“It has become too common to counsel families grieving from unjust loss, like that of Rayshard Brooks, or to grieve from separation,” Warnock said after Brooks was shot and killed by an Atlanta police officer June 12, 2020, in the parking lot of a Wendy’s, which was subsequently burned down by rioters.
“I have known this pain personally, and my family has experienced it over the last 22 years of my brother’s incarceration,” Warnock added.
During a different sermon referenced by the Free Beacon, Warnock has also condemned “lawless vigilantes pretending to be police,” and has claimed, “You can sometimes wear the colors of the state and behave like a thug,” in referencing police.
Rev. Raphael G. Warnock delivers the eulogy for Rayshard Brooks at his funeral in Ebenezer Baptist Church on June 23, 2020, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton-Pool/Getty Images)
In 1995, under “Operation Broken Oath,” the FBI investigated whistleblower tips about corrupt cops at the Savannah Police Department. The operation implicated Coleman and 11 other officers accused of providing paid security for undercover FBI agents and informants posing as cocaine traffickers.
Court documents cited recordings in which Coleman allegedly described recruiting four fellow cops who were loyal to him who could help traffickers go undetected in transporting cocaine by the “truckloads.”
Prosecutors said Coleman “continued to push for more work and more money,” allegedly complaining in one recording that an alleged drug trafficker couldn’t afford to pay him more than $1,500 for one job.
Attendees wear protective masks while holding “Black Lives Matter” and “Vote” flags during a ‘Get Out The Vote’ campaign event with U.S. Democratic Senate candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Garden City, Georgia, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. (Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
In total, Coleman was alleged to have received $46,000 in dirty payments and helped traffic a total of 28.2 kilograms of cocaine between November 1996 and March 1997, according to the Free Beacon.
Coleman received a life sentence, while two co-conspirators got 17 and 19 years.
Coleman unsuccessfully appealed his case on several occasions and has argued in one appeal that the FBI targeted him because of his race while ignoring corruption by fellow White officers.
Warnock even once wrote to then-President Barack Obama asking that Coleman be pardoned, according to a letter included in the case file obtained by the Free Beacon.
“As his brother and as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, I stand ready to directly provide and coordinate, through my network of contacts, the resources and support he will need to turn a second chance into real success,” Warnock wrote in the letter.
Fox News Digital, which did not independently obtain a copy of the case file, reached out to Warnock’s office about the report’s findings.
Danielle Wallace is a reporter for Fox News Digital covering politics, crime, police and more. Story tips can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @danimwallace.