A total of three Wilmington, North Carolina police officers have been fired after a department audit of a video recording revealed racism among its ranks. According to the Associated Press, one officer suggested that a civil war was necessary to wipe Black people off of the map and he was preparing for it.
Officer James Gilmore, Corporal Jesse Moore, II, and Officer Kevin Piner were all removed from the Wilmington Police Department on Tuesday. Each of them are said to have made inappropriate jokes and used racial slurs. They were also in violation of the department’s standards of conduct. The city council decided to publicly release the details of their transgressions.
According to a press release from the Wilmington Police Department, a sergeant within the police department was alarmed by the “extremely racist” comments she heard while conducting a routine audit of police audio. She notified a department administrator and was able to pull video from the exchange between Piner and Moore. According to the AP, the two of them engaged in a conversation where Moore called a Black woman a “negro” as well as a racial slur. He also called a Black magistrate that same slur and used an offensive gay term.
During that same conversation, Piner told Moore that he believes a civil war is on the horizon and he’s planning to get a new assault rifle so he can “go out and start slaughtering them (expletive) Blacks.” When Moore pushed back on his assertion, he told him a civil war was necessary to “wipe them off the (expletive) map.” He expressed contentment in believing that one would put the Black community back “about four of five generations.”
Earlier, Piner had expressed frustration with the department, saying that they only cared about “kneeling down with Black folks.” When confronted about the video capturing the racist dialogue, all of the officers admitted it was their voices and did not deny the content. They did however say that they are not racists, merely reacting to the pressure they now face in light of police brutality protests.
According to the department press release, the cases involving Moore, Piner, and Gilmore are expected to be reviewed by the district attorney’s office for signs of bias toward criminal defendants. They could potentially face criminal charges, and it is being recommended by Police Chief Donny Williams that they not be rehired onto the force.