A White man has been relieved of his duties as the police chief of a predominantly Black town in Mississippi after he was recorded using racial slurs and also bragging about shooting someone 119 times.
According to CNN, Sam Dobbins was fired as the police chief of Lexington last week. Robert Hooker, who is a Black officer, told the news outlet that he recorded the audio while he was talking to Dobbins in April.
In the audio of the conversation between Dobbins and Hooker, the fired police chief is heard saying: “You’re going to get in some sh*t in the streets, and there’s only going to be one man fighting for you, and it’s going to be me, OK? Don’t ever ruin that, all right, because these other n***ers, they’ll leave you dry. I don’t give a f**k if you kill a m*therf**ker in cold blood… I will articulate to fix the f**king problem, and I’m the only man in the business here that’s smart enough to do it.”
Dobbins also went ahead to brag about shooting and killing people while in the line of duty. “I have shot and killed, in the line of duty, 13 different people,” Dobbins said. The White man also claimed he shot someone 119 times after pursuing him.
The fired police chief initially denied knowledge of the recording when the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting reached out to him for comments. He also claimed he did not use the racial slurs. “I don’t talk like that,” he reportedly said.
But in an interview with CNN, Sheriff Willie March, who is with the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office, said there was “no doubt in our minds that it’s Mr. Dobbins” voice in the audio recording.
Hooker also said that he was sure Dobbins was aware he was recording him. Hooker added that he met with Dobbins for an apology after the fired police chief told him to “shut the f**k up and listen” during an initial meeting.
“I don’t believe someone like that should be a police chief,” March said. “Personally, I’ve never heard him use those kinds of statements, use the N-word. Some people have said he uses that language, but I have never heard it,”
The audio was leaked by the civil and human rights organization, JULIAN. “[I]n this overwhelmingly Black town, the mayor is white. The police chief is white. The judge is white. The town is run by a powerful white family, and the police, led by Chief Sam Dobbins, are targeting, harassing, and assaulting Black citizens,” the organization said in a statement.
“This recording proves that the oppressors no longer wear white sheets, but they wear law enforcement uniforms,” JULIAN’s paralegal, Cardell Wright, added.
“Listening to this further validates what the community has been highlighting since Dobbins was hired. The remarks he made are appalling, racist, hateful, and detrimental to the welfare of the people.”