Three police officers in Wilmington, North Carolina, have been fired after they were allegedly caught using racial slurs and making derogatory comments about Black people. One of the officers allegedly said that he wanted to “wipe them off the (expletive) map.”
The Wilmington Police Department fired Cpl. Jessie Moore, as well as officers Kevin Piner and Brian Gilmore on Tuesday. Each officer has been accused of violating standards of conduct, criticism and use of inappropriate jokes and slurs.
You’ll get the latest updates on this topic in your browser notifications.
“When I first learned of these conversations, I was shocked, saddened and disgusted,” Police Chief Donny Williams said at a news conference on Wednesday, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “There is no place for this behavior in our agency or our city and it will not be tolerated.”
The police department released documents on Facebook on Wednesday, alleging that a sergeant was reviewing vehicle audio footage as part of a routine inspection. The sergeant allegedly found the footage from Piner’s car and notified administrators.
According to a Wilmington Police Department investigation, the racist discussion began about 46 minutes into the video, when Piner and Gilmore were speaking from their respective cars that were parked next to each other. In the conversation, Piner allegedly complained that the police department was “kneeling down with the black folks.”
Later, Piner received a phone call from Moore, and had more racist discussions. During the phone call, Moore referred to a Black woman by using a racial slur, and then used racial and homophobic slurs to describe a magistrate.
Piner allegedly told Moore that a civil war was coming, and that he intended to be ready. He allegedly said he would buy a new assault rifle, and soon “we are just going to go out and start slaughtering them (expletive)” Black people, saying, “I can’t wait. God, I can’t wait.”
Moore responded that he wouldn’t do that.
Piner allegedly continued by saying that 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.” The recording stopped shortly thereafter.
According to authorities, all three officers admitted they’d had the conversations. They alleged that their comments were a result of stress resulting from the demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.
In his press conference, Chief Williams said he didn’t want people to judge the department based on the conduct of the officers. “My biggest fear with all of this is the good will all be painted with the same brush that the bad will be painted with,” he said, according to WWAY-TV.
The district attorney’s office will review all three officers’ cases to ensure that they did not commit any crimes against criminal defendants. The police chief will recommend that the three men not be rehired by any other police departments in North Carolina.
PEOPLE has been unable to reach the fired officers, and it is unclear whether they have hired attorneys authorized to speak on their behalf.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
•National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.