June 21, 2021

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A Black police officer in Florida was fired for using the N-word, but his police union wants him reinstated

2 min read

Delvin White, an eight-year veteran of the Tampa Police Department, was a school resource officer at Middleton High School in Tampa. He was fired Tuesday for violating a city policy that prohibits discriminatory conduct, according to a statement from the city.
Bodycam footage released by the department shows White driving around a parking lot, chatting with people and saying goodbye after a high school football game on November 13.

He first uses the word while talking to himself, according to the footage. A few minutes later, White makes a personal call to a woman, and the two begin discussing dinner plans before talking about the differences in their jobs.

“Every day that I go to work and not one kid gets shot or stabbed, that means I’ve done my job. And that’s a lot of responsibility. You don’t have all that responsibility,” White says, explaining the other person’s job before speaking about his own.

“Well, you know, some will say you have more responsibility. You manage a multimillion-dollar property,” he says. “Or … some ghetto n—er don’t get shot or stabbed, I don’t know. But to they mama, though, they worth a million dollars.”

During an investigation, White told his supervisor that he used the N-word while making an arrest for trespassing on November 30, according to the city’s statement. Police also released bodycam footage of that arrest.

“Derogatory statements made by police officers jeopardize the trust that our department works to establish with our community”, said Chief Brian Dugan in the city’s statement. “Tampa Police officers are held to a higher standard and incidents like this negatively impact the entire law enforcement profession.”

Following the investigation, White was fired on Tuesday for violating city policy that prohibits discriminatory conduct which is “grounds for immediate dismissal in the absence of extenuating circumstances,” according to a statement from the department.

CNN reached out to White for comment but was referred to the Tampa Police Benevolent Association, which says it will be filing a formal grievance to get White reinstated. In a statement, police union spokesperson Danny Alvarez said the union supports the city’s efforts to fight racism, but White’s situation doesn’t warrant the punishment he’s received.

“Officer White is a beloved and trusted member of the East Tampa community that he was raised in and that he protected every day,” Alvarez wrote in the statement. “Despite his misstep, throughout the investigation, private citizens and other individuals associated with his school contacted the Chief of Police lending their support and reflecting their admiration for his character and contributions.”

CNN’s Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.

2021-03-05 21:35:03

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