A discussion between three racist officers was accidentally recorded. The Wilmington Police Department Chief is working on filing criminal charges against the trio.
Trigger Warning: Racism, Police Brutality, Racial Slurs
Three police officers from the Wilmington Police Department in Wilmington, North Carolina, were fired after discussions about murdering Black people were accidentally taped and discovered by a sergeant in the department. In the tapes, Officer Michael “Kevin” Piner, 44, Cpl. Jesse E. Moore II, 50, and Officer James “Brian” Gilmore, 48, can be heard talking about how they would "slaughter" Black people if the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests turned into a civil war. The tapes were found purely by chance on June 4 when a sergeant was conducting a routine review of recorded videos.
Here's our story, with the documents included.— Emily Featherston - WECT (@EmilyWECT) June 24, 2020
A major warning: The language these officers used is graphic and disturbing, and not suitable for everyone.https://t.co/yP8dzSdaWg
The recording in question was nearly two hours long. Piner predicted the demonstrations would lead to civil war, adding that he plans to purchase an assault rifle for when the time comes. He stated, "We are just going to go out and start slaughtering them, f*cking n*ggers." The group freely dropped racial slurs, with all three officers suggesting killing Black residents and deriding protesters. "Wipe 'em off the f*cking map," Piner said. "That’ll put 'em back about four or five generations." The officers complained about how local cops only care about "kneeling down with the Black folks" and other Black officers on the force. The group also discussed at length specific Black people they had interacted with, including a Black woman and a Black judge.
Wilmington Police Officer Michael K Piner— Toilet (@freeojtoday) June 25, 2020
Had the video of the exchange not been accidentally discovered, the three men would have likely remained on the force. The officers were confronted about the video recording by Internal Affairs investigators on June 9. Though they confessed to having had the conversation, they claimed they were "not racist." They blamed the "stress of today’s climate in law enforcement" and characterized the discussion as simply "venting." Former Officer Moore added that he "doesn’t normally speak like that but was feeding off Officer Piner." The recently hired Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams - who happens to be Black - called the conversation "brutally offensive." "This is the most exceptional and difficult case I have encountered in my career," he affirmed. "We must establish new reforms for policing here at home and throughout this country."
The 1898 Massacre echoes in Wilmington in 2020. The reported words of a former Wilmington Police officer are what happened in 1898 when white supremacists overthrew the government and slaughtered black citizens. https://t.co/hqG9feP26d pic.twitter.com/pwkKdpUwU3— Ashlea Kosikowski 🎙🎥 (@AshleaOnAir) June 26, 2020
Chief Williams vowed to ensure that none of the men could be rehired by the city. He also said he would request state officials to review their law enforcement certifications. At present, he is considering filing potential criminal charges against the three men. "There are certain behaviors that one must have in order to be a police officer, and these three officers have demonstrated that they do not possess it," the Chief stated. "When I first learned of these conversations, I was shocked, saddened, and disgusted. There is no place for this behavior in our agency or our city, and it will not be tolerated." He is working with prosecutors and trying to identify whether any of the men had shown bias toward criminal defendants while working at the department. All three men had been hired in the late 1990s.