WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Wilmington, North Carolina police department has fired three veteran officers after an internal investigation of “hate-filled speech” caught on a patrol car camera.
The officers were identified by Police Chief Donny Williams during a news conference on Wednesday as Officer James Gilmore, Cpl. Jesse Moore II, and Officer Kevin Piner.
According to Williams, the investigation uncovered “extensive violations of the department’s manual of rules and policies which include the standard of conduct, criticism, and use of inappropriate language.”
The investigation came after a supervisor’s routine inspection of video from Officer Piner’s in-car camera uncovered two conversations between Piner and Gilmore, and Piner and Moore that contained “disrespectful language, hate-filled speech, and referring to black people as the ‘n-word.‘”
Documents from the internal investigation show that during one of those conversations, Piner told Moore that he felt a civil war was coming and he is “ready.” Piner went on to tell Moore that he was planning to purchase an assault rifle in the coming weeks and that he felt martial law as coming.
“We are just gonna go out and start slaughtering them fucking niggers. I can’t wait. God I can’t wait,” Piner stated, according to the documents. Moore responded that he would not do that, which Piner stated “I’m ready.”
According to the documents, Piner said that the country needed a civil war to “wipe ‘em off the fucking map. That’ll put ‘em back about four or five generations,” Piner stated. Moore responded, “you’re crazy.”
Other recorded conversations also criticized Chief Donny Williams, several Black officers within the WPD, individuals outside of the WPD, and made negative comments about the Black Lives Matter protests, and were critical of the police department’s response to those protests.
“[The conversations] were brutally offensive and deserved immediate attention,” Williams said. “When I first learned of these conversations, I was shocked, saddened, and disgusted. There is no place for this behavior in our agency or our city and it will not be tolerated.”
Williams said he will recommend the officers never be rehired by the city and will notify the N.C. Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission about their behavior.
“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 in the country.”