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Three police officers in Wilmington, North Carolina were fired on Wednesday after a routine audit of dashcam footage caught them having violently racist conversations, including one where an officer said he “can’t wait” to “go out and start slaughtering them fucking [n—words]” in a potential civil war.
During an audit on June 4, a Wilmington PD Sgt. Heflin discovered that the dashcam on Officer Michael “Kevin” Piner’s car had been accidentally activated, and had captured conversations Piner had with Cpl. Jesse Moore and Officer James “Brian” Gilmore. In those two conversations, the officers anticipated and even glorified the prospect of a racial civil war and looked forward to indiscriminately murdering Black people, among other racist comments.
“Piner tells Moore later in the conversation that he feels a civil war is coming and he is ‘ready,’” Piner said, according to documents released by police Wednesday. “Piner advised he is going to buy a new assault rifle in the next couple of weeks. A short time later Officer Piner began to discuss society being close to ‘martial law’ and soon ‘we are just gonna go out and start slaughtering them fucking [n-words]. I can’t wait. God, I can’t wait.’ Moore responded that he would not do that. Piner stated, ‘I am ready.'”
Piner then told Moore that a civil war was needed to “wipe 'emoff the fucking map. That’ll put them back four or five generations.” Moore responded, “You’re crazy.”
Wilmington police chief Donny Williams, a Black veteran of the department who had been named its permanent chief on the previous day, said at a press conference that he would have no tolerance for the behavior recorded by the dashcams, according to Wilmington’s Port City Daily.
“This is the most exceptional and difficult case I have encountered in my career,” Williams said. “We must establish new reforms for policing here at home and throughout this country.”
In addition to firing the three officers, Williams said he would notify the North Carolina Education and Training Standards Commission because “these individuals should not be allowed to practice law enforcement again,” according to the report.
Williams also said that the Wilmington police department would consult with the district attorney to review cases where the officers had been called to testify as witnesses, to determine if they had been biased towards the defendants, as well as “if any crimes had been committed by the officers” themselves.
The conversations all show Piner, Gilmore, and Moore turning their ire towards protests against the ongoing national protests against police brutality and racism, as well as Black people they've arrested, Black judges, and Black fellow officers.
During a conversation about the protests, Gilmore and Piner voiced their disgust about videos of police officers kneeling with protesters, what Gilmore refers to as “worshipping blacks.” Gilmore also told Piner that it’s “almost like [Black people] think they’re their own god.”
The audio also caught Piner and Gilmore talking about Black officers in their department. “Let’s see how his boys take care of him when shit gets rough, see if they don’t put a bullet in his head,” Piner said, referring to one Black officer, who Piner also called a “piece of shit.”
Later, dashcam video caught Piner and Moore’s phone call, which included Moore referring to a Black woman he arrested as an “[n-word],” and a Black local judge as a “fucking Negro magistrate” and referred to her by a homophobic slur.
“God has a special place in hell for people like that, man. Hate ‘em,” Moore told Piner. “It’s bad because not all Black people are like that.” After Piner responded, “Most of ‘em,” Moore said: “90 percent of them, Kevin, 90 fucking percent of them.”
All three cops had been with the police department for more than twenty years, according to documents provided by the Wilmington Police Department, and all three had spent significant amounts of time on the department’s Special Operations team throughout their careers.
When interviewed, “each officer pointed to the stress of today’s law enforcement environment” as the reason for the content of the conversations, according to the report. All three also denied being racist.
You can read the full report released by the Wilmington Police Department below.
Cover: Getty Images/Westend61