Three police officers in North Carolina were fired after being heard on camera making racist comments, including the use of racial epithets and references to “massacred” black people, police said Wednesday.
Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams said Cpl. Jessie Moore and officers James Gilmore and Kevin Piner would be fired for misconduct after an internal investigation “uncovered extensive violations” of the department’s policies, including its standard of conduct and the use of appropriate language.
The department also released a document containing a detailed summary of the investigation.
Why do we disclose this information in this way and at this time? Because it’s the right thing, “Williams said.” Typically, personnel laws allow only a very small amount of information to be released. However, in exceptional cases, when maintaining public trust in City administration is essential and the Police Department, more information may be released.
“This is the most exceptional and difficult case I have encountered in my career,” he added. “We must establish new surveillance reforms here at home and across the country.”
The investigation began as a result of a supervisor’s routine inspection of a video from Officer Piner’s camera on the car, Williams said.
About 46 minutes and 12 seconds after the video, Piner started talking to Gilmore from their respective cars. During the conversation, Piner criticized the department and told Gilmore that the agency is concerned about “kneeling with the blacks.” Gilmore later said she saw a video on social media about white people bowing on their knees and “worshiping blacks,” according to the report released by the department.
About an hour and 14 minutes after the video, Piner received a call from Moore. Shortly after the conversation, Moore referred to a woman he arrested using a racial slur.
Later in the conversation, Piner told Moore that he feels a second Civil War is coming and that he is “ready,” according to the police report. He said he will buy a new assault rifle in the next two weeks, and said that the society will be close to the “Marshall Law” and discuss “massacring” people using a racial slur. Moore replied that he would not do that, to which Piner said “I’m ready,” according to the report.
When interviewed separately, each officer admitted his voice on the video and did not deny having said anything that was heard, according to the police report. However, each officer also denied being racist, according to the report.
Williams said he is recommending that officers will not be eligible to be rehired in the city and will notify the North Carolina Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission of their behavior. The commission determines whether or not an officer can maintain her state certification.