Three North Carolina police officers have been fired for racist comments about killing Black people, which was caught on camera.
The cops were identified as Michael Kevin Piner, Jesse E. Moore II and James B. Gilmore. Piner was hired by the Wilmington Police Department in 1998 while Moore and Gilmore have been there since 1997.
According to the internal investigation incident report, the video of the officers comments was found on June 4 during a monthly inspection of Piner’s vehicle and was classified in the system as an “accidental activation.”
In the clip, Gilmore pulls up next to Piner’s vehicle and starts complaining about the protests against police violence across the country. Gilmore specifically brought up a social media video he had watched where white people kneeled in solidarity with Black people. He criticized the clips as “worshipping Blacks.”
While talking to Gilmore, Piner speaks about another officer Michael Scott, a Black man who he described as “bad news.” At one point, he brings up violence against Scott, saying, “Let’s see how his boys take care of him when (expletive) gets rough, see if they don’t put a bullet in his head,” according to the report.
Eventually, Gilmore pulls away and Piner gets a phone call from Moore, who was off duty. Throughout their talk, the two cops use the N-word repeatedly in reference to arrestees and folks outside the department.
When talking about a woman he arrested the day before the video, whom he described in racially derogatory terms, Moore 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.” Piner responded, “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.”
Piner then goes on to say that martial law could soon be declared in society. “We are just gonna go out and start slaughtering them (expletive) (n-words). I can’t wait. God I can’t wait.” Moore said he wouldn’t do that.
Piner kept the violent rhetoric going by saying there should be another civil war to “wipe ’em off the (expletive) map,” according to the report. Moore and Piner also criticized the police department with Moore especially coming after then interim Police Chief Donny Williams. He claimed Williams “dropped the ball” and that “there have been too many times that all he cares about is the (expletive) community.”
When Sgt. Mike Donelson led the investigation into the videos, he interviewed the three officers separately and none of them denied the comments in the video, according to the report. Instead, they blamed the “stress of today’s climate in law enforcement as a reason for their ‘venting,’” the report read. Piner particularly said that after working a recent protest in downtown Wilmington, he was concerned for his family’s safety and it caused increased stress at home.
All three officers involved also had the gull to say they’re not racist.
After their terminations, District Attorney Ben David explained that all the cases where the three men were witnesses will now be reviewed for instances of racial bias. Williams also recommended that the cops not be eligible to ever be rehired by the City of Wilmington.
Williams went on to add that he will meet with every WPD officer individually for 15-20 minutes in the month of July and all 350 WPD employees will be required to finish an Implicit Bias Training. He also said a cultural education series will be launched for small group dialogues and he plans on exploring the establishment of a citizen review board.