Three members of the Wilmington, North Carolina police department were fired on Tuesday when a routine audit revealed violent, openly racist exchanges.
Police Corporal Jessie Moore, and officers Kevin Piner and Brian Gilmore lost their badges on June 23, after a video audit discovered conversations about murdering black Americans — complete with racial and sexual slurs.
The footage was discovered by a police sergeant during a routine audit of police camera footage. Listed under “accidental activation,” the video in question recorded Officers Piner and Gilmore, as well as Corporal Moore, engaged in “extremely racist” interactions.
Piner was heard criticizing the Wilmington Police Department with Gilmore, asserting that its primary concern was “kneeling down with the black folks.” Minutes later, Piner and Moore engaged in a conversation regarding a “negro” woman, along with more extreme racial and sexual slurs during discussion of a local black magistrate.
According to the investigation, Piner also confided in Moore that he was “ready” for another civil war. He claimed he would buy a new assault rifle, with which to later, “go out and start slaughtering them [expletive]” blacks. “I can’t wait. God, I can’t wait.” Moore, however, refused to go that far.
Piner further claimed the war was necessary, in order to “wipe them off the [expletive] map. That’ll put them back about four or five generations.” Moore called Piner “crazy” just before the recording ended.
“When I first learned of these conversations, I was shocked, saddened and disgusted,” Police Chief Donny Williams said at a news conference on Wednesday. “There is no place for this behavior in our agency or our city and it will not be tolerated.”
While the former officers involved admitted that the voices recorded were theirs, each maintained that they are not, in fact, racist. They blamed their behavior on stress caused by the ongoing nationwide protests in response to the alleged murder of George Floyd.
The District Attorney will review the case to discern whether they had committed any crimes, including any mistreatment of defendants in the course of their duty. Chief Williams will also recommend they not be rehired in a report to the N.C. Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission.