In 1898, armed white supremacists overthrew the city’s democratically elected government because black men had obtained positions power and their influence was increasing
Wilmington, North Carolina, Police Chief Donny Williams has fired three white uniformed officers for their video-recorded racist comments in which one officer, Michael K. Piner, said a “civil war is coming, and I can’t wait to start slaughtering them fucking niggers. I can’t wait. God, I can’t wait.”
Corporal Jesse E. Moore, II, another officer, said he could not do that.
Piner responded, “I am ready.” Piner continued, arguing the country needed a civil war to “wipe them [Blacks] off the fucking map, setting them back four or five generations.”
Piner, 44, made these vile comments in his patrol car’s police video to Officer James B. Gilmore,48, and Corporal Moore, 50.
The three officers often referred to civilian Blacks and Black police officers as “niggers” in addition to denouncing the Black Lives Matter protests and Chief Williams who is Black.
The three are no longer members of the department after an investigation determined they violated the department’s standard of conduct and used inappropriate jokes and slurs. All three were interviewed individually. They all denied being racist and claimed they were just “venting”
“Yesterday, we officially terminated Officer James Gilmore, Corporal Jesse Moore, II, and Officer Michael K. Piner as the result of an internal investigation. The investigation uncovered extensive violations of the department’s manual of rules and policies including the department’s standard of conduct, criticism and use of inappropriate language, Chief Williams said.
The department launched the investigation following a routine inspection of video from Piner’s in-car camera. The supervisor discovered two conversations that Piner had, one with Gilmore and the other with Moore.
“The conversation included disrespectful language, hate-filled speech and referred to black people as the “N” word (niggers). They also criticized me, several black officers within the agency and made negative comments about individuals outside the agency,” Chief Williams said. “They made negative comments about the Black Lives Matter protests and were critical of our response. The 46 minute, 12 second conversations were brutally offensive and deserved immediate action.”
The city where the comments were made is historically significant.
In 1898, white supremacists led an armed insurrection and overthrew Wilmington’s democratically elected government, killing at least 60 African Americans, because Black-owned businesses were thriving, and Black men held high-level positions in city government.
What happened in Wilmington is detailed in the book “Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy,” by David Zucchino.
Chief Williams recommended that neither officer be eligible for rehire by the City of Wilmington.
“We also will notify the North Carolina Criminal Justice Training and Standards of their behavior. The commission determines whether or not an officer can maintain his state certification, “ Williams said.
The police department also will consult with the district attorney’s office regarding their suitability as a witness, any bias they have shown towards criminal defendants and potential criminal charges, Williams said.