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25th Jun 2020

Three police officers fired in North Carolina after audio recording of racist rants

Conor Heneghan


One officer was heard saying a civil war was needed to wipe black people off the map.

Three police officers in North Carolina have been fired for misconduct after an investigation into an audio recording where they were heard using disrespectful language, hate-filled speech and referring to black people using the n-word.

Wilmington Police Department announced the termination of the three officers and the circumstances that led to the decision in a news conference on Wednesday, with Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams saying he was “shocked, saddened and disgusted” at the conduct of the three officers involved.

An investigation was launched into the conduct of the three officers following a supervisor’s routine inspection of video from the in-car camera of Officer Kevin Piner.

During a review of the video, the supervisor discovered two conversations that Officer Piner had, one with Officer James Gilmore and the other with Corporal Jesse Moore, II.

According to a statement by Chief Williams, the conversations included “disrespectful language, hate-filled speech and referred to black people as the “N” word”.

“They also criticised me, several black officers within the agency and made negative comments about individuals outside of the agency,” the statement added.

“They made negative comments about the Black Lives Matter protests and were critical of our response. The 46 minute and 12 second conversations were brutally offensive and deserved immediate action. You will find more details about the investigation in the public documents we are releasing today.”

Public documents released by police revealed that Officer Piner, in a phone conversation with Officer Moore, was heard saying that he felt that a civil war was coming and that he was “ready” for it.

“We are just going to go out and start slaughtering them fu**ing (n-word) . “I can’t wait. God, I can’t wait.” Moore responded that he would not do that.

Piner went on to say that he felt a civil war was needed to “wipe ‘em (black people) off the fu**ing map”.

“That’ll put them back about four or five generations,” he said.

Moore responded by saying that Piner was “crazy,” and the recording stopped a short time later.

Earlier in that conversation, Officer Moore used the n-word on multiple occasions in reference to a female he had arrested, said “she needed a bullet in her head right then and move on… let’s move the body out of the way and keep going” and used the n-word and an expletive when referring to an African American magistrate.

The documents released by Wilmington Police Department also revealed that Officer Piner, in conversation with Officer Gilmore, said that the only thing the agency is concerned with is “kneeling down with the black folks”.

Officer Gilmore responded that he watched a video on social media about white people bowing down on their knees and “worshipping blacks”.

“How many times have I told you it’s almost like they think they’re their own God,” Officer Gilmore added.

In an investigation, the three officers in question did not deny that it was their voices that could be heard during the audio recording.

They denied they were racist and attributed to their comments to added stress on law enforcement officers in the United States due to the scrutiny and protests that followed the death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis last month after a police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

In addition to being fired, the three officers will have their cases reviewed by the District Attorney to determine if any crimes were committed.

A court will also review whether or not some or all of the video in the case should be released.

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