Three members of the Wilmington Police Department in North Carolina were fired after a supervisor reviewing dashcam footage noticed them eagerly discussing the prospect of race war: "We are just going to go out and start slaughtering them fucking n—-s", said one of the officers, Kevin Piner.
Michael 'Kevin' Piner, James 'Brian' Gilmore, and Jessie E. Moore II were all terminated from the force. The announcement came from the new Chief of Police Donny Williams — not even 24-hours into his first day as chief.
On Wednesday afternoon, members of City Council along with Williams held a press conference to address the conduct of the former police officers. Williams, a nearly 30-year veteran at the department said he was saddened by the actions of the officers, but would have no tolerance for this type of behavior.
The comment was one of many similarly racist and homophobic statements made during the conversation:
Piner received a phone call from Moore, according to the investigation, a segment in which Moore referred to a black female as a "negro." He also referred to the woman by using a racial slur. He repeated the use of the slur in describing a black magistrate, and Moore used a gay slur to describe the magistrate as well. … Piner then told Moore 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.
North Carolina has a law that effectively conceals police activity from public records, and the officers tried to prevent the disclosure of the information that got them fired. The Port City Daily reports that their motion for a temporary restraining order was unsuccessful.
"Why are we releasing this information this way and at this time? Because it is the right thing to do. Normally, personnel laws allow only a very small amount of information to be made public. However, in exceptional cases, when it is essential to maintain public confidence in the administration of the City and the Police Department, more information may be released. This is the most exceptional and difficult case I have encountered in my career. We must establish new reforms for policing here at home and throughout this country," Williams said.
The footage has not been released.
I'm fascinated by how CBS News is reporting this in its unbylined story:
"we are just going to go out and start slaughtering them (expletive)" blacks.
There's the necessary use of formal euphemisms such as "N-word" or, as the AP Style Guide recommends, replacing characters with hyphens as in "N—–". And then there's this, where the word "blacks" is substituted for the racial slur actually used, fig-leaved by the placement of a closing quote.
The Washington Post uses a cooked version of the quote as its headline.