A police chief and a patrolman from the town of Hamilton, Georgia, were fired after body cam footage showed the men making racist comments regarding slavery and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Police Chief Gene Allmond and patrolman John Brooks are seen on the body cam footage (captured last June) discussing a range of topics. At the time, it was believed the body cam was broken.
Later, the camera was examined and found that the camera had merely run out of storage because it was full.
At one point, the recording shows Allmond and Brooks discussing then-candidate Joe Biden’s considering Mayor Bottoms and Stacey Abrams for his running mate. Officer Brooks says during the conversation, “If I had to f*ck a [n-word], I’d rather f*ck the mayor [Keisha Lance Bottoms] than Stacey Abrams.”
As the two began to prepare for patrolling a Black Lives Matter rally, the conversation shifted to slavery. Chief Allmond offers his thoughts on the subject: “They furnished them a house to live in, they furnished them clothes to put on their back, they furnished them food to put on their table, and all they had to do” was work.
At another point in the video, Mr. Brooks is discussing a recent police shooting and complains, “How come when you tase a f*cking [n-word] it’s like you done killed them 27 times?”
Note – the six minute footage has been posted by local ABC News affiliate WTVM.
According to the New York Times, a city employee discovered the conversation while reviewing the footage. The employee contacted Buddy Walker, an assistant to Mayor Julie Brown, and eventually watched the footage with Ransom Farley, the mayor pro tempore.
In viewing the footage with Mr. Farley, who is Black, Mr. Walker, who is white, said, “To look at the video with him, to listen to someone he’s known for many years – my reaction was incredibly bad. You can imagine his reaction.”
Mr. Farley told the New York Times, “It hurts when you think you know somebody and you don’t.”
The mayor and City Council met on Monday, January 25, and everyone agreed they “knew what had to be done.”
Informed he had the option to resign or be fired, Mr. Brooks asked to see the video recording.
Mr. Walker told the New York Times, “He watched the entire video and then came in and told the mayor pro temp that he was sorry — that that was really not the way he was.”
“I’m not accepting your apology, because you’re sorry that you got caught,” Farley told Brooks. “You’re not sorry because of what you said.”
But Mr. Farley wasn’t done.
“I own the fact that I am Black and I am gay,” Mr. Farley continued. “If you’re a bigot, if you’re a racist, own it.”
Both men agreed to resign, but when Mr. Brooks didn’t return his police department equipment on time, he was fired.
Speaking to the Times, Mr. Farley made a point to note that the two men weren’t done in because someone tried to entrap them.
“Nobody told on them,” said Mr. Farley. “They told on themselves.”
(source: New York Times)