A Cincinnati police officer, who was recorded using the N-word on bodycam and dashcam footage, has been relieved of her duties, the city manager’s office announced.
According to FOX 19, Officer Rose Valentino used the racial slur after a Black teenage student flipped at her. The April 5 incident happened outside Western Hills University High School. Authorities released bodycam and dashcam footage of the incident last month.
The former police officer’s termination came after investigations determined her actions violated department policy. Valentino’s termination was recommended by Interim Cincinnati Police Chief Teresa Theetge. That recommendation was then approved by the office of the interim city manager on Monday.
“Officer Valentino’s agitated demeanor and the statement she made while on duty is not only inexcusable and incredibly hurtful, but it damages the public’s trust we have worked so hard to build over the past 20 years, since the inception of the Collaborative Agreement,” Theetge said in a statement.
“Officer Valentino’s clear loss of her emotions and ready use of the racial slur tarnished her ability to work with any community member or member of the Cincinnati Police Department hurt by her hateful words,” she added. “This significantly reduces, if not eliminates, Officer Valentino’s ability to be a productive member of the police department. I want to be clear; this type of hateful speech will not be tolerated by anyone who works for the Cincinnati Police Department, sworn or civilian.”
A Cincinnati Police Department report into the incident stated that Valentino was in her marked CPD car when she attempted to get a line of cars that had stopped outside the school to move, FOX 19 reported. The 40-year-old former officer turned on her lights and siren to alert the cars. But she allegedly got agitated after the cars failed to move.
She also allegedly used her air horn to scream, “You got to move, f*****g ridiculous. F*****g a*****s.”
Valentino subsequently rolled her window down and informed a Black woman occupying one of the stopped cars that she needed to move. But a Black teenager who was supposedly a student gave Valentino the middle finger after he passed by the officer. The report stated that the student’s action “infuriated” the officer.
The report stated that Valentino rolled her window up before saying, “Oh I hate them so much. I hate this f*****g world. F*****g n*****s, I f***ing hate them.”
The 40-year-old shortly turned off her bodycam after making the aforementioned comments. But before doing that, Valentino, in a low voice, said, “And there it is…”
Valentino did not deny using the slur when she was interviewed by investigators. She claimed that the traffic and the lack of reaction to her requests left her very frustrated. “This is a hard job, and I was getting to a point where I was really being affected by it. I have been on for fourteen years,” she reportedly told investigators.
She also claimed that hearing the use of the slur in music and from people made her less sensitive to it, the report stated, adding that Valentino also claimed she was having mental health issues. Valentino claimed she wasn’t racially biased.
The report determined Valentino’s use of the slur contravened CPD rules barring verbal or written expression of any prejudice or offensive comments concerning characteristics including race, FOX 19 reported.
This isn’t the first time Valentino has been punished for her actions. In February 2019, she was officially reprimanded after she allegedly showed bodycam footage of a murder scene to her family. She was officially reprimanded again in December 2020 after she got into a physical altercation with her sister and brother-in-law.
In 2019, a realtor and a prospective buyer also filed a lawsuit against Valentino, the city of Cincinnati, and two other officers. The plaintiffs claimed Valentino and her two fellow officers held them after a report was made of “two Black males” breaking open a home’s front door.
The plaintiffs reached a $151,000 settlement with the city.