A former sheriff in Arkansas who was forced to resign over his racist views and language replete with the N-word was reportedly being shown “compassion” for his racism and has been allowed to keep getting paid even though he is no longer officially a law enforcement officer.
Yes, you read the right. Ex-Arkansas County Sheriff Todd Wright was apparently secretly recorded speaking his racist mind in public, at one point even calling a woman a “n*gger lover,” prompting a court to ask for his resignation.
To be clear, Wright was not fired, nor was that ever an apparent consideration for his racism while leading law enforcement efforts in a county that is 25 percent Black. Instead, Wright was encouraged to resign, out of apparent compassion for him. It was also “out of compassion” that the “court also unanimously passed a motion to allow Wright to continue to be paid on contract labor through September 30” even though he won’t actually be laboring at all, according to local news outlet the Stuttgart Daily Leader.
The recording provides a much clearer picture of Wright’s racist offenses, which took place during a conversation with a woman at a local grocery store. Audio of the conversation hit social media last week and shows that Wright used the N-word multiple times out of anger once he found out the woman had spoken to a Black man at the supermarket.
“Why you got to holler at f*cking n*ggers when I’m around?” he asked her at one point on the 24-second recording.
Listen to the full recording below. Graphic language is used along with the racial slurs.
Wright appeared in court Aug. 28 to insist that he was not racist and was vehement about not resigning. However, after a friend asked him to quit, Wright tendered his resignation right there on the spot — presumably because he knew he’d still at least get paid. It was unclear what Wright’s salary was.
The racist incident in Arkansas County serves as a microcosm for many police departments around the country.
The Brennan Center for Justice released a report last week about how the “government’s response to known connections of law enforcement officers to violent racist and militant groups has been strikingly insufficient.”
While it is unclear if Wright is part of a larger racist group, his own angry and racist words on the audio recording that led to his resignation — not firing — is clear that his views are aligned with racist groups, at the very least.
This is America.