Cop’s Body Cam Caught Her Spewing N-Word in Traffic Meltdown

The Cincinnati cop had a previous history of being accused of racial discrimination and disorderly conduct.
Officer Rose Valentino seen in an undated photo.
Officer Rose Valentino seen in an undated photo. Courtesy 

Cincinnati police department. 

A Cincinnati officer with a history of domestic violence and allegations of discriminatory policing, has been suspended after she was caught on her own police body camera using the N-word while having a meltdown as she was stuck in traffic.

while sitting in the driver’s seat of her patrol car, according to an internal investigation report shared with VICE News. She made the reference while stuck in traffic at a school near a police station, after she’d rolled down her window to demand a Black driver move their car.

Valentino had her police powers revoked Monday following the three-month internal investigation by the Cincinnati Police Department. The cop is now waiting for the conclusion of her disciplinary hearing process, which will determine what punitive action will be taken.

"We hold all of our employees, and especially our sworn police officers, to high standards,” Cincinnati’s interim City Manager John Curp told VICE News in an emailed statement. “The body camera video of Officer Rose Valentino is disturbing. I expect CPD to thoroughly investigate this matter and recommend discipline in strict accordance with the City’s disciplinary procedures.”

The incident took place April 5 as Valentino made her way toward the District 3 police station, on non-emergency business. It was just after 3 p.m., which coincided with the dismissal time of Western Hills University High School, a school located next to the police station. As the cop tried to pull into the police station, several cars trying to pick up kids from the school blocked her path.


Frustrated by the traffic, Valentino put on her sirens in hopes of getting the vehicles to move, to no avail. Then she became irate and began her tirade.

“You got to move, fucking ridiculous,” she first said. “Fucking assholes.”

Afterward, she rolled down her window and told another driver, who was Black, that she needed to move her vehicle. Shortly afterward, a 16-year-old student of the school flipped her off, setting her off once more. She rolled her window back up and let the racial epithets fly.

“Oh, I hate them so much,” she said, punching her steering wheel. “I hate this fucking world. Fucking n*****s, I fucking hate them.”

She cut off her body camera shortly afterward.

This isn’t the first time Valentino has been in trouble. Despite earning good marks during evaluations, she has been reprimanded for questionable actions several times since becoming an officer in 2008. In 2019, she was named in a federal lawsuit against the city filed by a realtor and a homebuyer, both of whom were Black, who accused her and two other officers of racial discrimination. During the November encounter, the officers ordered two men out of a home they were viewing at gunpoint in front of the homebuyer’s 9-year-old son. The city settled the lawsuit for $151,000.

She was also involved in a domestic dispute with her sister in 2020 while off duty, during which she attacked her sibling as well as a male family member. She was arrested for disorderly conduct and was suspended at the time. She was ordered to attend anger management classes because of the incident, according to local ABC affiliate WCOP.

After the most recent incident, city officials, including Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, have signaled they’d like to see Valentino removed from the department altogether.

“I was appalled to see Officer Valentino display such hateful, angry, and racist language,” Pureval told local station Fox 19 Now. “Our law enforcement represents all of this city, and Black Cincinnatians deserve to feel safe knowing they will be treated with mutual respect. A fair and complete process needs to play out, but someone demonstrating this behavior has no place in a world-class organization like CPD.”

Valentino said that she was frustrated that day, according to a copy of the report shared with VICE News.

“This is a hard job,” she said, according to the report. “I was getting to a point where I was being really affected by it. I have been on for 14 years.”

She also said she used the slur because she had been desensitized to that sort of language through its use in music and on the street.

"Frequent exposure had allowed the slur to slip into her vernacular," the report claims. Valentino said her use of the N-word was an isolated incident that was part of a “mental episode.” The report says she sought counseling immediately following the incident but that she was not “classifying the whole race with her statement.”

Despite her past issues, Valentino’s ability to keep her post reflects the common practice in law enforcement. While officers may be reprimanded for bad behavior, many of them are able to get their jobs back either through internal arbitration, which almost always favors giving the gun and badge back to cops, or by getting another law enforcement job elsewhere in the state or country. It’s why some states, including California, Virginia, and Massachusetts, have taken steps to prevent this practice.