Sheriff’s Racist Rant Results In His Resignation

Former Arkansas County Sheriff Todd Wright (photo: ARSheriffs.org)

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 video which appears to have been captured by a friend of the woman.

The video 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 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, the population of the county Wright has been serving for years is 25 percent Black.

After listening to the repeated use of the n-word in this recording (nine times he uses the slur), it’s not hard to imagine what Wright thought of the local Black citizens he encountered in the line of duty.

I’m going to close this post by saying I believe the vast, 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.

Poll: Large Majorities Of Americans Support Police Reforms

(image via Unsplash/Spenser)

Democratic lawmakers, Republican lawmakers, and the White House are all preparing proposals to address reforms in policing amid the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

According to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Thursday, large majorities of Americans support the Democratic proposals released this week:

• 82% of Americans want to ban police from using chokeholds (including 7 in 10 Republicans)

• 83% want to ban racial profiling (including 7 in 10 Republicans)

• 92% want federal police to be required to wear body cameras (including 9 in 10 Republicans)

• 89% of Americans want to require police to give the people they stop their name, badge number and reason for the stop

• 91% support allowing independent investigations of police departments that show patterns of misconduct (including 9 in 10 Republicans)

• 75% support allowing victims of police misconduct to sue police departments for damages. (including 6 in 10 Republicans)

• 76% support reallocating police budgets into better officer training, local programs for homelessness, mental health assistance and domestic violence

Read more at Reuters.

Uber Driver Calls Police After Telling Gay Dads Crying Infant “Needed His Mother”

In a recent Twitter thread, gay dad James Moed shared a disturbing incident where an Uber driver apparently called the police after telling Moed and his husband their crying baby “needed his mother.”

Moed and his husband were staying at the Marriott Marina while traveling in San Diego last week. The couple, who live in the UK, was awakened by a knock at their hotel room door at 1:30 a.m.

At the door were police officers who demanded to see the men’s identification.

According to the Twitter thread, Moed shared “It turns out the @Uber driver who had taken us back to the hotel had called the cops – accusing us of…child trafficking? Endangerment?”

Apparently, during their Uber ride to the hotel, their driver told the couple their crying infant “needed his mother.” Even though the men explained the child has two dads, the driver “didn’t back down.”

The police departed peacefully after the couple showed their identification including their son’s passport to prove they weren’t ‘child trafficking.’

But even after the officers left the hotel, the men were shaken.

“Stayed awake freaking out,” wrote Moed. “What if we hadn’t had his passport? The cops had been less agreeable? Where can my #queerfamily travel safely?”

The father shared that he had contacted Uber about their driver’s behavior and the app’s algorithm replied with a form letter and a refund.

Insisting he didn’t want a refund, he says he pressed on asking for “proof that you keep #LGBTQ riders safe from homophobic drivers.”

A few hours later, Moed added that he had spoken to Uber support requesting an “apology from the driver (not his dismissal)” as well as evidence of LGBTQ sensitivity training.

So far, the couple hasn’t indicated if they’d heard back from Uber.

We’d like to hear from you, readers – have any of you had a homophobic experience while using Uber?

Let us know in the comments below.

(Image by why kei on Unsplash)

Kansas Cop Faked Story Of McDonald’s Coffee Labeled “F**king Pig”

A police officer in Kansas has admitted he fabricated the story of a McDonald’s employee writing “f**king pig” on his coffee cup.

Via KTLA:

A Kansas police officer who initially claimed McDonald’s employees wrote “F—–g pig” on his cup has resigned, the city’s police chief said.

“In (our) investigation we have found that McDonald’s and its employees did not have anything whatsoever to do with this incident, this was completely and solely fabricated by a Herington police officer who is no longer employed with our agency,” Herington Police Department Chief Brian Hornaday said in a news conference Monday.

The incident, the chief said, has been an “obvious violation of … public trust.”

“Our job is solely to do this job with the utmost integrity because if you can’t trust the cops, who can you trust,” he said.

After McDonald’s conducted its own investigation, the owner and operator of the Junction City franchise said in a statement the fast-food chain was “glad that the evidence confirmed our evaluation that McDonald’s and our crew members were absolutely not involved.”

The now-fired police officer had been with the department for just two months.

After the officer texted the photo of the coffee cup to Hornaday on Saturday, the police chief posted it on his personal Facebook account, which clearly became embarrassing after discovering the story was faked.

NYC Cop Pleads No Contest To Burglary, Using Racial Slurs

Michael Reynolds, a 25-year-old New York City police officer, is accused of breaking into the home of an African-American family and screaming racial slurs while on vacation in Nashville, Tennessee, this past summer.

Reynolds has pleaded no contest to charges of aggravated burglary and three misdemeanor assault charges

From NewsChannel 5 in Nashville:

Michael Reynolds, 25, pleaded no contest to his felony aggravated burglary charge and three misdemeanor assault charges.

The break-in happened around 2:30 a.m. on July 9th, 2018 at a 12 South home in Nashville.

The homeowner, Conese Halliburton, said she felt traumatized reliving the incident in court today. Reynolds was on vacation and staying at an Airbnb with friends one door down from Halliburton’s home, and police say he was under the influence of alcohol when he broke into the house.

“He knows what he did, it’s on video, there’s audio. There was people there so how can he not plead guilty and say this is what you did and stand up and be truthful. You’re an officer,” Halliburton said.

When the incident occurred, Halliburton told Metro officers Reynolds kicked in the door and started yelling at her and her two sons who had not went to bed yet. A surveillance camera captured part of the exchange and a man’s voice shouting, “Try to shoot me, I’ll break every bone in your f(expletive) neck. You f(expletive) n(expletive).”

Reynolds faces sentencing on November 7.

Black Prospective Home Buyer Finds KKK Memorabilia While Viewing Cop’s Home

(screen capture)

A prospective African-American homebuyer in Michigan was touring a home when he came across Confederate flag placemats on the dining room table.

Taking a look at the NASCAR-inspired garage, he found two more Confederate flags.

According to the Washington Post, Rob Mathis said to himself, “Wouldn’t it be funny if this was a Klansman’s house?”

And just minutes later, he and his wife came across a plaque in one of the bedrooms. Mounted on wood was an application for membership in the Ku Klux Klan.

The home, about an hour outside of Grand Rapids, belongs to Muskegon police officer Charles Anderson, who has served on the police force there for more than 20 years.

Mathis posted a photo of the KKK application as he shared how the experience left him rattled.

“I feel sick to my stomach knowing that I walk to the home of one of the most racist people in Muskegon hiding behind his uniform and possibly harassing people of color and different nationalities,” he wrote in his post late Wednesday.

The city of Muskegon announced in a Facebook post that an investigation had been opened and Anderson is now on administrative leave.

When contacted by MLive.com, Anderson offered only a brief response saying, “They (his police union) said not to talk about it. That’s what they told me. Because it’s under internal investigation they said not to make a statement.”

Complicating things more, Anderson was involved in the shooting death of a black man ten years ago while on duty. At the time, he was acquited of any wrongdoing.

But, the Muskegon chapter of the NAACP is now asking that all cases involving Anderson and people of color be reviewed.

Cop Fired For Mocking Gay Teen Suicide Hired By New Police Department

Police officer Jeff Graves (screen capture via WHNT)

A police officer in Alabama who resigned amid controversy after mocking the suicide of a gay teen has been rehired just two months later.

Nigel Shelby, a 15-year-old high school student, took his own life in April after having been the target of homophobic bullying.

Nigel Shelby (image via Facebook)

Jeff Graves, while working as a Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy, commented on a story posted to Facebook about Shelby’s death writing:

“Liberty, Guns, Bible, Trump, BBQ – That’s my kind of LGBTQ movement. I’m seriously offended there is such a thing such as the movement. Society cannot and should not accept this behavior. I have a right to be offended by this fake movement which requires no special attention but by persons with an altered ego and fake agenda.”

Local news station WHNT19 reports Graves was initially suspended, and eventually resigned in early May.

But two months later, Graves has now been hired as an Owens Cross Roads police officer.

When contacted by WHNT, Owens Cross Roads Police Chief Jason Dobbins acknowledged being aware of Graves social media controversy and defended the hiring saying, “Everyone deserves a second chance.”

Declining to speak on camera, Dobbins told WHNT over the phone that Graves had expressed remorse for the controversial Facebook post.

The police chief said that he was “confident” that Graves would be able to serve all citizens in Owens Cross, including the LGBTQ community.

“Officer Graves may not have the same views as everyone else, but that doesn’t prevent him from doing his job as an officer,” Dobbins told NBC affiliate WAFF. “He’s going to make a great addition to our department.”

He added that all of Graves’s interactions with the public would be recorded on police body cameras.

Chicago Cop Investigated For Demanding Sex From Trans Woman Or Face Jail Time

(image via Flickr/Paul WoolrichCC license)

A transgender woman alleges a Chicago Police sargeant forced her to perform oral sex on him to avoid being arrested.

On March 5, the woman arrived at Rush University Medical Center and told the staff she had been sexually assaulted, reports the Chicago Tribune.

According to the unnamed woman, she was in an area on Fifth Avenue in the Lawndale neighborhood known for prostitution. She admitted she was with a man who she referred to as her boyfriend.

A Chicago police car pulled up and asked her what she was doing in the area. The woman says she explained she was “going home.”

According to her statement via police report, he allegedly told her that if she didn’t want to go to jail she would have to perform oral sex on him saying, “Because that’s what you do.”

She says she was ordered to get in the front seat of his car, and the sargeant drove off leaving her male companion there.

He allegedly stopped in an alley, exposed himself and ordered her to perform the sex act in the vehicle. At some point, the woman says she was able to preserve DNA evidence.

During the alleged sex act, the 39-year-old woman says the officer told her, “I can make you one of my regulars.”

At the hospital, she gave staffers the DNA evidence that she said would prove her story.

But she left the hospital before filing a police report saying she was fearful of “retaliation” by police officers.

Eventually, police detectives were able to discern the woman’s identity but found contacting her to be difficult. At the same time, detectives searched through surveillance video in the area she said the assault took place.

Weeks later, detectives became aware the woman was in police custody for a shoplifting charge and were able to interview her.

The Tribune reports that the Chicago Police Department “stripped the officer of his police powers on April 6 based on the findings of an internal investigation.

A week later, the sergeant was allowed to officially retire from CPD without being charged in connection with the alleged assault.

Police say they are still awaiting the results of DNA testing.

According to the Tribune, this isn’t the officer’s first brush with internal police charges.

In 1997, he was investigated after it was discovered he threatened to plant drugs on a suspect unless they handed over a gun. While Internal Affairs recommended he be fired, he was eventually given a 30-day suspension.

Florida Judge Dismisses Charges In Phony Police Sex Sting

In August, I reported on a police sting operation that resulted in the arrests of 13 men having consensual sex in a private area of the Pleasure Emporium Adult Boutique in Hollywood, South Florida.

Now, Judge Ginger Lerner Wren has dismissed all the charges against two of the defendants.

At the time of the arrests, police officers had gone to the trouble of paying $25 to enter locked, private rooms at the back of the Pleasure Emporium in South Florida where men were masturbating and engaging in oral sex.

The state had argued that an unsuspecting patron of Pleasure Emporium could accidentally observe the sexual activity.

But the judge disagreed.

“The Court finds that the Pleasure Emporium is not a public place under F.S. 800.03 where the patrons who access the private viewing theaters where consensual sexual activity occurs in the presence of other consenting adults objectively and subjectively possess a reasonable expectation of privacy,” Judge Wren wrote in her ruling.

Following the raid, the police department released the names and photos of those arrested to the media. Several major media outlets published that information which, in effect, outed some of them to their coworkers and families.

One man was apparently fired from his job due to the public outings.

Rhonda F. Gelfman, a lawyer who represented one of the defendants, told South Florida Gay News, “We are quite pleased with the court ruling, and justice was appropriately served,”

Unfortunately, some of the other defendants have already pleaded guilty to their charges.

Gelfman said that while it might be difficult to get their guilty pleas thrown out, “We may be able to assist them.”

Meanwhile, the Sun-Sentinel reports that while the Hollywood Police Department is spending it’s time busting gay men for consensual sex, the HPD is none too worked up about investigating actual sex crimes.

DC Police Officer’s ‘Stop & Frisk’ Turns Into Body Cavity Search

Did this police officer go too far in searching a citizen during a 'stop and frisk' in Washington DC?

 Picture this: It’s September 2017, you’re hanging with buds outdoors, planning your upcoming birthday celebration when suddenly you find yourself the subject of an invasive stop and frisk.

Invasive as in ‘body cavity search’ invasive.

That’s apparently what happened to M.B. Cottingham, a 39-year-old man, in the Bellevue neighborhood of Washington, D.C. last fall.

According to the New York Post, Nottingham and his buddies were chilling when up rolled two police cars. More than a couple police officers approached the group and inquired as to whether they were carrying any weapons.

This is where it gets down in the underbrush on the way to Poughkeepise.

Cottingham alleges, and there’s video tape, that Metropolitan Police Department Officer Sean Lojacono violated Cottingham’s 4th Amendment rights regarding unreasonable searches and seizures.

Nottingham openly admitted having a legal amount of marijuana on him, but Lojacono took things farther. He went for the ’search and seizure’ according to ACLU staff attorney Scott Michelman, who is representing Cottingham.

As you can see on the video from the incident, Lojacono goes beyond the ‘pat down’ and gets his hands (and maybe his thumbs) all up in Cottingham’s business.

From The New York Post:

“He stuck his finger in my crack, man,” Cottingham said to his friends during the search, video shows. “Don’t do that, man … I don’t have nothing.”

Cottingham then followed the officer’s instructions to squat down to allow the search to continue, but the officer continued prodding far beyond the standard scope of a pat-down, according to ACLU officials, jamming his fingers into the man’s buttocks and anus and grabbing his scrotum.

“Stop fingering me though, bruh,” Cottingham told Lojacano. “You fingering my a–, man.”

“I’m outside your pants, bro,” the officer replied. “Relax.”

“Don’t sit here and finger my a— like that, like I’m not a man,” Cottingham said.

Michelman says the video clearly shows a “violation of [Cottingham’s] constitutional rights and basic dignity.”

“When a routine frisk turns into a search this invasive, the officer is not pursuing a legitimate law enforcement purpose but simply degrading someone and asserting his own power,” Michelman said in a statement to the press.

Apparently, Metropolitan Police Department chief, Peter Newsham, noted during a DC Council hearing last week that he has seen the video and considers the officer’s ’touching’ inappropriate.

The NY Post goes on to say that Cottingham says he has ‘discomfort in his genital area,’ as well as ‘ongoing anxiety, depression and fear of being in public.’

“I’ve never been so humiliated in my life,” Cottingham told the NY Post. “It’s bad enough that members of my community are stopped and frisked by the police all the time. I’ve been frisked many times and even beaten by police. But this officer treated me like I’m not even a human being.”