By Cash Michaels –
Three veteran Wilmington, NC police officers were caught on tape talking about starting a “civil war,” “slaughtering f*****g n****s,” and wiping Blacks “…off the f*****g map.”
The three were fired, but no charges have been or will be brought.
But being fired from their jobs isn’t enough, say community leaders, especially after the racist rants.
Former officers James Gilmore and Kevin Piner and Corporal Jesse Moore “should not be allowed to work as police officers anywhere in the United States,” said Sonya Patrick of Black Lives Matter Wilmington in a statement issued last week. “Moreover, a message must be sent to all police officers who disparage their commander and threaten to murder citizens, and to start an insurrection, must be arrested and indicted.”
However, while agreeing that referring to Black Lives Matter demonstrators, a black suspect, black police officers, and even a black magistrate judge with the n-word were certainly serious offenses warranting termination, they are not criminal offenses, said New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David. In a letter to Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams last week, David said that instead he would be calling for a federal investigation into the white former officers’ “hate-filled speech” because they broke no state laws.
“Words alone—spoken in private, not intended by the speaker to be heard by the person whom the speaker is victimizing, and not part of a plan that the speaker and others have agreed upon—cannot constitute a crime for which someone can be arrested or prosecuted. This is not a close legal call,” David wrote.
On June 4, Piner, Gilmore, and Moore were heard on a patrol car recording speaking with racist disdain about African Americans, and they were fired on June 24 by Chief Williams. The firings made national news, adding to the current discourse about negative policing in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing.
Patrick, of BLM Wilmington, expressed disappointment that Mr. David would not charge the officers, even though she was pleased that the D.A. ensured the racist three could not be called as witnesses in any of their previous cases within his jurisdiction. In fact, David dismissed 70 cases the officers were involved with, mostly misdemeanors.
On Monday, the Wilmington NC Clergy Truth and Reconciliation Mission filed a complaint against the former officers with the Community Relations Service of the Southeast Regional Office of the US Dept. of Justice, regarding “Threats of Assault and Violent War on People because of their Race, National Origin and Color by Three Wilmington PD officers and other unknown co-conspirators.”
“We, the Wilmington NC Clergy Truth and Reconciliation Mission, make these allegations, based on information and good faith belief, to expose secret political societies within the region’s law enforcement community who aim to terrorize with criminal threats of war and mass murder of Wilmington’s people because of our race, color, national origin and religious faith, and dismantle them forever from our state,” stated a summary of the complaint.
At press time, Chief Williams was waiting for a judge to release the tapes so that the public can hear for themselves what the former officers actually said.