Apparently, Jim Crow never died—he just moved to the majority Black city of Lexington, Mississippi, and took up permanent residence in its police department to declare that “oppression ain’t dead, these n*****rs just scared.”
Recently, a civil rights and international human rights organization called JULIAN shared a recording with the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting (MCIR), in which a police officer is heard boasting about killing 13 people while on duty, including a Balck person he said he shot 119 times. Of course, he didn’t use the words “Black person”—he used a different word. You know the one. It’s the word that ironically rhymes with “trigger,” but that’s probably just an unfortunate coincidence.
First, let’s start with what’s on the recording.
On the tape, the supervising officer can be heard saying, “You’re going to get some s— in the streets, and there’s only going to be one man fighting for you, and it’s going to be me, OK? Don’t ever ruin that, all right, because these other n—–s, they’re [unintelligible]. I don’t give a f— if you kill a mother—er in cold blood. I will articulate to fix the f—ing problem, and I’m the only man in the business here that’s smart enough to do it.”
The officer bragged about his past killings. “I have killed 13 men in my career, justified,” he said. “In my line of duty, I have shot and killed 13 different people.”
“You shot that many motherf—ers?” the other officer asked.
“Yes, sir, justified, bro’,” the officer asked. “Ask around.”
The officer began to detail some of those cases, saying, “I’m talking about a man had a gun, a man had to die.”
He described a shootout in a cornfield. “Justified, bro’,” he said. “I shot that n—– 119 times, OK? I saved 67 kids in a school.”
“I chased this motherf—er across the field. I got him. He was DRT [dead right there] in the field. The vehicle was shot 319 times, but he was hit 119 times by me.”
He said he was cleared at the sheriff’s office, where he worked at the time, and received his gun back before he ever sat back down.
When the subject arises of him talking to someone, he responded with homophobic slurs, “I don’t talk to f—ing queers, I don’t talk to f—ing fa——s.”
Obviously, the most appalling things about this recording are the officer’s casual use of bigoted slurs and the fact that the cops he was talking to didn’t seem to think anything of it—which likely means they’re just as racist as their commanding officer. (Also, there’s the fact that they actually have a commonly-used acronym for “dead right there.”)
So, who is this supervising officer with the big Mark Fuhrman energy and the closet full of Klan skeletons?
Well, the officer was identified as now-former Police Chief Sam Dobbins, who was reportedly fired after a 3-2 vote by the Lexington Board of Aldermen. According to MCIR, the two aldermen who voted against Dobbins’ firing were former Lexington mayor Richard Spencer (not that Richard Spencer—but pretty much that Richard Spencer, apparently) and Charles Simmons, a Black alderman who may or may not be the real-life version of Stephen from Django Unchained.
Of course, Dobbins initially denied he was the cop on the recording. When asked by MCIR if he actually killed 13 people in the line of duty, he replied, “That’s something we don’t discuss, period”—despite a whole recording of him discussing it at length. He also denied using slurs saying, “I don’t talk like that”—despite a whole recording of him talking like that. Multiple people from JULIAN claimed to know Dobbins and recognize his voice.
More from MCIR:
Cardell Wright, JULIAN’s paralegal and the president of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, obtained the audio from former officer Robert Lee Hooker who made the tape, calling the remarks on tape “appalling, racist, hateful and detrimental to the welfare of the people. This recording proves that the oppressors no longer wear white sheets, but they wear law enforcement uniforms.”
JULIAN Founder Jill Collen Jefferson said she knows Dobbins well, and that it is definitely his voice. She said the tape reflects a pattern of behavior Lexington police that residents have shared in community meetings, detailing more than a dozen complaints against police.
For example, In December of last year, Black residents in Lexington voiced their complaints about their local police department’s culture of racism and police brutality. Those residents include Shirley Gibson, a Black woman who was born and raised in Lexington.
“They bust up in my house,” Gibson told WLBT. “An officer caught me by my neck, slung me on the ground, they maced me not once but twice, they jumped on my son, they hit him, they stomped on his feet. I’m very terrified because this isn’t the first time they did this. They did not have a search warrant.”
In fact, after Dobbins was fired, Officer Charles Henderson was appointed interim chief, but Francine Jefferson, JULIAN’s Mississippi state director of organizing, said Henderson also has a history of complaints made by Lexington residents.
“This firing is a victory for the community,” Jefferson said. “But the board is still ignoring the issue.”
She also said the current culture of policing “must be rooted out completely.”