Arkansas County Sheriff Todd Wright resigned from his position after a recording of him repeatedly using the n-word began circulating on social media.
In the clip, Wright goes on an ugly rant yelling at a woman who had spoken to a Black employee at a Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Dewitt. He was apparently embarrassed she had spoken to someone Black.
Here’s the transcript:
“Shut up you f**king n***er lover! … Every motherf**ker in this store and you gotta talk to the f**king (inaudible) n***er. Right there in front of me, like y’all f**king best buddies. It is a big f**king deal. People f**king see me and see you talking to f**king n***ers.”
Here’s the audio of the recording which appears to have been captured by a friend of the woman.
— abby da don. (@liilabb2) August 27, 2020
The video (which you can see here) was initially shared on social media back in May but began circulating again this week.
At a special session of the Arkansas County Quorum Court on Friday, August 28, Wright acknowledged that it was him in the recording and offered an apology for any offense his comments caused adding that his remarks were made ‘in the heat of the moment.’
During a rambling statement, he added he was “disturbed my career was in shambles because of something I said.”
He also – wait for it – insisted he’s not racist.
Initially, Wright refused to resign, but the court (which doesn’t have the power to remove Wright from office) unanimously approved a resolution asking for his resignation.
Following comments from the public demanding he step down, Wright offered to leave his position in a month as he wanted time to find another job.
But Bobby Webb, a longtime friend of Wright, told the sheriff he needed to resign immediately.
“I’ve known you all my life,” said Webb told Wright according to the Stuttgart Daily Leader. “You need to take that badge and you need to lay it on that table and you need to walk out of here. You know I love you.”
After a brief recess, Wright submitted his official resignation, which the court voted unanimously to accept.
Out of ‘compassion,’ the court also unanimously decided to allow Wright to be paid through September 30, although he will not be an active law enforcement officer.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, twenty-five percent of Arkansas County’s population is Black.
After listening to the repeated use of the n-word in this recording (nine times he uses the slur), you have to imagine what Wright might have thought of the local Black citizens he encountered in the line of duty.
Note: This writer believes the vast majority of law enforcement officers are good people. But people like Wright make their jobs much, much harder.
If you ever wonder why football players kneel, and Black Lives Matter protests are happening, this is part of the reason why.