Three police officers in North Carolina have been fired after a squad car camera caught one officer threatening to “slaughter” Black people and two others making racist and hateful remarks. Michael Kevin Piner, Jesse E. Moore II and James B. Gilmore were identified Wednesday as the officers whose conversation included “disrespectful language, hate-filled speech and referring to Black people as the n-word,” according to Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams.
“We are just going to go out and start slaughtering them f*****g n****rs,” Piner said in part of the video. “God I can’t wait.
“Wipe 'em off the f*****g map,” Piner continued. “That’ll put 'em back about four or five generations.”
Piner's comments were in reference to a "civil war" he said he thought would happen due to the national protests that have been taking place in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police.
Gilmore also chimed in, saying that white people were “worshipping Blacks” and he expressed his disapproval of the protests. Later in the video, Moore talked about a Black woman who he recently arrested. “She needed a bullet in the head right then and move on," he said.
All three men had worked for the department since the late 1990s.
“This is the most exceptional and difficult case I have encountered in my career,” Williams said. “We must establish new reforms for policing here at home and throughout this country.”
Williams, who is Black, just became the chief on Tuesday. The three officers' conversation was stumbled upon by an officer who was doing routine video reviews when she came upon the two-hour long video that began with an “accidental activation,” according to the department.
The officer then told her superior about the video and an internal investigation began. On June 9, the officers were questioned about the video, according to reports, and argued they were “not racist” and they were “venting,” in the video, according to the investigation report. Each one also added they were feeling pressure because of the recent protests.
On Wednesday, the department and city council released the officers’ termination letters and information about the internal investigation along with their work histories.
“Why are we releasing this information in this way?” Williams said. “It is because of the times we are in, and it is the right thing to do. Normally, personnel laws allow only for a small number of information to be made public. However, in exceptional cases, when it is essential to maintain public confidence in the administration of the city and our police department, more information can be released.”
District Attorney Ben David also said in a statement that any cases in which the three officers were witnesses will now be reviewed for evidence of racial bias that led to convictions.
“Since learning about the terminations, my office has undertaken a review of all cases where these officers were the primary charging officers. These cases were dismissed [Wednesday] and the individuals charged will be notified by mail of these dismissals in the coming days,” David said.