The police department in Wilmington, N.C. has fired three police officers after investigators say footage from one of their patrol cars showed them exchanging racist and sometimes threatening remarks.
Those include one of the officers saying he was ready for a “civil war” against Black people.
On Tuesday, the Wilmington Police Department fired officers James Gilmore and Kevin Piner and Corporal Jesse Moore after a routine review of video by the department triggered an investigation.
Investigators say video captured exchanges by the officers showed them making disparaging and racist remarks. Two of them — Moore and Piner — were said to be captured using the n-word multiple times. Investigators also said Gilmore referred to anti-racism protesters as “worshipping blacks,” and Piner said he expects a “civil war” and was planning to buy an assault rifle.
In a statement on Wednesday, Chief Donny Williams said the officers had violated department rules in the recorded conversations.
“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 said. “When I first learned of these conversations, I was shocked, saddened and disgusted. There is no place for this behavior.”
Williams also said he was recommending that the former officers be ineligible for re-hire by the city and was notifying state authorities responsible for deciding if an officer can maintain state certification.
Williams also announced that the department would work with the District Attorney to review any possible bias they may have shown in criminal cases.
Hanover County District Attorney Benjamin David told NPR that a prosecutor in his office has initially identified 89 cases involving the former officers to be reviewed. He said that while the review is ongoing, his office has already thrown out cases.
“We made that determination for these three officers, we do not intend to call them in the future for any case,” David told NPR.
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SOURCE: NPR, Jason Slotkin