North Carolina Cops Fired After Their In-Car Camera Catches Them Talking About Wiping Black People 'Off The (Expletive) Map'
from the sounds-like-a-very-north-carolina-discussion dept
Sometimes cop cameras do what they’re supposed to. In most cases, camera footage captured by cops is used by prosecutors to build cases. But every so often, they provide the accountability we were promised when cameras began rolling out.
In-car footage of officers engaging in a bigoted discussion of current protests prompted by the killing of George Floyd has resulted in some of that accountability we’ve heard so much about. Three Wilmington (NC) police officers have been fired for comments they made while sitting in their squad cars.
This wasn’t the result of a citizen’s complaint. Rather this horrific “discussion” was seen by a supervisor during a routine audit of recordings.
According to documents released by the police department, a sergeant was conducting a video audit as part of a monthly inspection and was reviewing footage from Piner’s car that had been classified as “accidental activation.” After the sergeant listened to the conversation and determined comments made by Piner and Moore were “extremely racist,” she contacted the department administrator for the camera system.
We can guarantee this was an “accidental activation.” No cop would have knowingly taped a conversation where officers discussed the current unrest using racist language or expressed a desire to engage in a war against black people to set them back decades in the fight for equality. No one would have believed this conversation ever took place if it wasn’t for the recording the officers didn’t know they were creating.
In addition to referring to a black female and a black magistrate judge as “niggers,” an officer also used a gay slur and expressed a desire to “go out and start slaughtering them (expletive) Blacks.”
The was Officer Kevin Piner. Officer Birian Gilmore was the one delivering the gay slur. Another officer, Corporal Jessie Moore, was part of a phone conversation with Officer Piner, in which Piner went even further.
Piner then told Moore that he felt a civil war was needed to “wipe them off the (expletive) map. That’ll put them back about four or five generations.” Moore told Piner he was “crazy,” and the recording stopped a short time later.
The officers did not deny that those were their voices or that they had made these comments. They had an excuse though. You know how it is when life gets tough and you just start adopting random disturbing beliefs because the pressure is getting to you.
While the officers denied that they were racists, they blamed their comments on the stress on law enforcement in light of the protests over the death of George Floyd.
Look, I can only speak for myself but I have never had this experience. I’ve undergone a tremendous amount of stress at various points in my life and not once did I decide that the earth was flat, or that enemas curb masturbation, or that an entire race needs to be “slaughtered” and “wiped off the map.” Maybe the stress is different in Cop Land. I don’t know. But this seems like the weakest excuse for expressing things you fervently believe — one summoned in a panic after realizing your racist diatribe has been recorded.
Not only are the officers being fired, but cases they’ve been involved in are now being reviewed for criminal activity (committed by these officers) or biased behavior. I’m sure investigators will find something, but it might be difficult to separate these officers’ own bigotry from the systemic racism of police culture. Still, I wish investigators the best of luck.
Thank god for inadvertent activations. Without them, these officers would have continued to be racists with guns and a whole lot of power — able to inflict misery on people they hate until easing into a fully-funded retirement. But for now — pending the inevitable lawsuit/arbitration — they’re just a few bigoted citizens whose irrational hatred was exposed by their own technical incompetence.