Three police officers in Wilmington, North Carolina, were fired this Tuesday after it was discovered via dashcam video recordings that they had engaged in racist dialogue toward their boss, their co-workers and members of the community.
Recordings of the officers’ conversation were discovered when a sergeant was doing a routine audit of the equipment. After listening to the recordings, she determined they were “extremely racist” and reported them.
The three officers heard on the recordings — Michael “Kevin” Piner, Jesse E. Moore II and James B. Gilmore — have worked as officers for the department since the late 1990s, and each made racist comments on the video, according to Police Chief Donny Williams.
Get our free emails
“This is the most exceptional and difficult case I have encountered in my career,” Williams, who is Black, and who has been on the force for 29 years, said.
The commentary between the three officers involved was indeed disturbing, and incredibly racist. Piner, for example, predicted the uprisings would result in a new civil war across the country.
“I’m ready,” Piner said, according to the video recording, adding that he was planning to buy an assault rifle for it.
“We are just going to go out and start slaughtering them f—— n——,” he also said. Doing so, Piner said, would wipe Black people “off the f—— map,” and would “put ’em back about four or five generations.”
Gilmore complained that white people around the U.S. were “worshipping Blacks” in response to the uprisings that were happening, which began in response to recent killing of Black people, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others at the hands of law enforcement. Gilmore also complained about a video he saw that depicted an interracial relationship between a white woman and a Black man.
In their conversations, the officers described one of their Black co-workers as a “piece of shit,” and said another was “sitting on his ass” during the demonstrations.
“Let’s see how his boys take care of him when shit gets rough, see if they don’t put a bullet in his head,” Piner said of that officer.
Moore spoke of a desire to have casually killed one Black protester whom he had arrested.
“She needed a bullet in the head right then and move on. Let’s move the body out of the way and keep going,” he said.
When the men were confronted about their conversations, they tried to justify what they had said by saying they were just “venting,” and blamed the stress of the job in recent weeks during the uprisings for what they had said.
Williams said he would make sure none of the men could be rehired by the city, and would also ask state officials to review their law enforcement certifications.
“There are certain behaviors that one must have in order to be a police officer, and these three officers have demonstrated that they do not possess it,” Williams added.
To some, however, the assurances from Williams weren’t enough, especially since it was only by accident that the three officers’ words were discovered.
If this conversation was not accidentally recorded, these officers “would be patrolling streets full of Black citizens right now and they’d be packing all their rage, implicit bias and homicidal fantasies right along with their batons and service pistols,” Zack Linly, writing for The Root, opined in an article published on Thursday. “All cops are good cops until they’re caught being bad cops.”