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‘He Can Say It to Me, But I Can’t Say It?’: South Carolina Officer Suspended, Department Apologizes After Video Shows Him Saying N-Word Repeatedly

A South Carolina policeman is in hot water after a racially charged exchange with a man outside a bar was caught on video this past weekend. Sgt. Chad Walker has been suspended by the Columbia Police Department after he was captured on video using a racial slur, according to a statement issued by the department.

Walker and several other officers went to Bar None, a neighborhood bar in Columbia, South Carolina, on Saturday night. While there, they noticed that the governor’s executive order to halt the service of alcohol was not being followed.

According to the department, a man at the bar called Walker the N-word and an exchange occurred during which Walker used the slur multiple times.

“Afterwards, as Walker and patrons were outside, there was a heated exchange between them, including Walker’s repeated use of a racial slur,” the department said. “The entire incident was captured on Walker’s body-worn camera and citizens’ cell phone video.”

The civilian allegedly used the slur after officers told him he could not drink his alcoholic beverage.

Sgt. Walker. (@bonniekate_/ Twitter)

After Walker says the man “called me a n-gger,” people standing nearby responded to his use of the explicit word.

“Are you serious?” one person says.

“Can you stop saying that word please?” asks another.

The man who allegedly called the officer the slur is seen denying it multiple times in the video, while Walker continues to claim that he said it.

“‘Cause all you’re doing is calling me ignorant,” Walker says. “That’s what that word means.” As others in the restaurant continue to challenge him, Walker says: “If I was called that I can say it back.”

As bystanders express their disapproval, Walker says, “Oh, I can’t? He can say it to me, but I can’t say it to him?”

“No!” someone says, sounding shocked.

“You’re white!” a man adds.

As witnesses continue to tell him he cannot use the word and ask him to “lead by example,’ Walker responds saying he believes he is leading by example.

Walker continues to justify his use of the word until he finally begins to walk away from the scene with another officer.

The department has since apologized for the incident, calling Walker’s actions “inappropriate,” and “disrespectful.”

Chief Skip Holbrook released a statement saying: “Our officers are trained to serve as leaders and to deescalate confrontations of potentially volatile situations. Although I am embarrassed and disappointed in the Sergeant’s actions, I was encouraged to see a junior officer intervene and remove Walker from the situation, potentially stopping further escalation.”

On Sunday afternoon protesters gathered outside of the department, expressing their concern about the officer’s actions. “While we understand that this officer did not direct the slur at any one civilian, we are still deeply concerned by his attitude towards this racially charged and hateful language,” wrote the organizing group One Common Cause to the department.

Walker has since been suspended from the department pending a disciplinary conduct review.

What people are saying

60 thoughts on “‘He Can Say It to Me, But I Can’t Say It?’: South Carolina Officer Suspended, Department Apologizes After Video Shows Him Saying N-Word Repeatedly

  1. Mac says:

    I disagree with the punishment
    I don’t believe in double standards
    I am Blackman and don’t use that negative word
    You want respect you shouldn’t use the word
    You can’t have it both ways
    It’s ok for you to use the word but other ethnic group can’t

  2. SC says:

    I would never even think of being a police officer. The officers get suspended or charged with murder when they defend themselves. The officers are not respected. That’s the first thing the department needs to defend their officers. Black Privilege!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Regardless of the guy saying it to if he did the officer should have been a lot more professional in the way it was handled. If he said it they where both wrong.

  4. Dave says:

    What a waste of time and energy, are we in fifth grade and are we that ignorant where we go off of slang instead of the true meaning of words NIGGER means ignorant!! Period! So so stopped, eye for and eye, laws will always stand for a men! Eye for a eye keeps it simple! Nigger, wigger digger what else! It’s a FUCKEN word! Do names physically hurt you?

  5. Hastina robinson says:

    I hate to say it but I understand the point that the officer was making about saying the word nigger. He did not say nigger in reference to an African American. Black people are beginning to be too sensitive about that word. It is used in every rap song, black community and house hold

  6. Colleen Boland says:

    If Blacks can say it so can any other race . They make a big deal over a word that means black. Tough !

  7. Liz says:

    Law enforcement officers have to stand to a different level of conduct than a civilian. They have to not take personal anything that I said no matter how profane. Self control to Deescalate the problem.

  8. Bobo says:

    I don’t condone anybody’s actions in this, but there is a problem here nobody wants to talk about. There is literally a reverse discrimination going on over a word in this country. I don’t say it or use it, but we actually have a word that I cannot say without probably losing my job or worse, but if you are black your allowed to throw it around like “a,and,and the” and nobody bats an eye. You can’t have equality with a double standard. It never works that way. This small reason is just one more reason that makes me believe we’ll never see racism truly squashed. It’s sad.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Fire him

  10. Valerie N says:

    Suspended… I suppose that means with pay? #resistpolicebrutality.

  11. Anonymous says:


  12. Joe schmoe says:

    Wow. What a double standard here!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thats bullshit!! If they can use it do can I. Don’t what volorthey are. If its such a bad thing to say no one should be saying it no matter what the word might be.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Funny how they can use it but it is offensive when another race says it

  15. Anonymous says:


  16. Anonymous says:

    It will never change as long

    as there are white people living in the south because the
    War is going I their deplorable little minds the racist idiots

  17. Sandy says:

    Officer I support you completely!!!!!

  18. Daud Abdullah says:

    Fire him, set an example. Police are to held to a higher standard!

  19. Monica Grice says:

    White people needs a history lesson on why they can’t say the n word. Were not anybody’s slaves

  20. Anonymous says:

    No you can’t ever say it

  21. Anonymous says:

    I’m white, I’ve never used that word, but when or if I use any word in the English dictionary and told that I can’t say it because I’m white…well my friends…that’s racism…

  22. Concerned Black Man says:

    Tell Jews to get over anti-Semitic slurs and see if you keep your jobs! Racist language should NEVER be used by anyone holding a tax-payer funded job!

  23. Frank says:

    Fuck white people fuck them hard.

  24. Anonymous says:

    White people privilege. White supremacy terrorist. White gangs. Ship white pigs to Europe. Or throw them in the ocean.🤣🤣🤣🤣

  25. Trump says:

    White people privilege. White supremacy terrorist. White gangs. Ship white pigs to Europe. Or throw them in the ocean.🤣🤣🤣🤣

  26. Gangster bitch says:

    Officers are supposed to be held to a higher standard this here was so unprofessional. Regardless what anyone says as an officer of the law you should not allow anyone to get you out of character.

  27. James Bass says:

    It’s never appropriate for one paid by the public to wear a uniform of law enforcement and use such an offensive term. Regardless of what the officer may or may not have been called, such response is unacceptable. This officer’s values reflect terribly on the credibility of the department. Termination is the only viable option. The people cannot take a chance of putting their care in the hands of such an immature officer.

  28. Varika says:

    For the people insisting that the cop should be permitted to use the word because the other guy did: didn’t your parents ever teach you that two wrongs don’t make a right? But you know, it’s not ILLEGAL to use the word, and the cop isn’t being ARRESTED. It is, however, perfectly permissible for an employer to fire someone for violating company policy on speech. And the police don’t employ the other guy, so they CAN’T fire him.

    Basic logic, people. Learn it, instead of letting your inner racist become your outer douchecanoe.

  29. CamarynokLA says:

    Totally agree. The word should not be a protected. We as black need to get over it. The more we let it go the more it just become another word. Being sensitive to it allows other races to upset you. Just call them one back and move on.

  30. rachael says:

    ACAB. Fire his nasty ass

  31. Adam says:

    First of all, to Colleen Boland, that word DOES NOT mean Black. It is a racially charged word created by white slavers to dehumanize and insult Blacks, with dictionaries for the last 150+ years noting its absolute root in racially charged contemptuous speech, aimed originally at blacks and layer also targeting people of all times of dark skin. It has NEVER been a positive word, and has been held for well over a century and a half as the most offensive and inflammatory racial slur in the English language. To ignore its very definition and equate it to mean nothing more than the color of a person’s skin, or to generalize its definition to all black be people is the very definition of racism.

    As to the Black community taking ownership of the word, using it as they feel comfortable and appropriate, there is no reason to even argue the point. White people, and especially White men with authority, wealth or fame (as they are the specific demographic who created the word intentionally as a derogative and hate-filled expression) need to show understanding and respect by not using the word at all, especially when directs at people of color. It does NOT matter what another person does. We as human beings, and especially those acting in the office of a public servant, such as law enforcement and politics, should never use any kind of language that WE KNOW is considered insulting and inherently racist. This is not about blacks versus whites, it is about respecting other people, regardless of how the may behave speak. The officer was VERY MUCH in the wrong as he used the slur in the exact way that it was fundamentally intended to be used when created, and is just another blatant symptom of systemic racism.

  32. Wolf says:

    If white people can’t use that word , then they can’t use it either. Listen to just about any rap song it is used all the time.

  33. Anonymous says:

    The Officer is held at a higher standard, that’s why he’s protected by the state. It don’t matter what the civilian say to you! Remember Officers are sworn to be servant to the people, we work for them they don’t work for us. So yes he’s wrong and it’s not a double standard.

  34. Daniel Sims says:

    The N word is an abomination Is anyone old enough to remember the Civil Righs Movement? Many Black people were arrested, beaten and murdered because they were drawn into violent confrontations after being called a .Nigger. It is the ultimate insult for a White man to say it tto a Black man. I remember the first time a White ma man called me a NIGGER, 53 YEARS AGO.I can STILL feel the fear, anger and shame I felt as a child. White people are not used to being told what they can’t say and it disturbs them. That is why ithe N Word has become so popular among young Blacks today. I am offended no matter who says it. Back then, a Black man HAD to fight if he was called that Young Black people don’t know their history and use it as a means of including one another and drawing a line a line that whites are not supposed to cross. The ignorance and /or arrogance the White police officer showed is appalling. He is fortunate that the situation did not esculate.. He should learn the history and respect the feelings of Black people.In fact police officers everywhere should be thoroughly screened and exámined for any racist beliefs before they are hired to “protect and serve” or rather,’ “assault and kill.”‘ Black people have been brutalized by Law Enforcement for well over a century and still nothing is being done. The N Word is the most evil and dangerous word in the English language. We have freedom of speech in this country, but this racist expression of hate should never be spoken by anyone..

  35. Dave W. says:

    The bigger issue is that the police officer is emotional & not under control. I know it’s not fair, but a basic skill set of the job should be to keep your cool & remain even keeled. We should always expect our law enforcement, government employees, politicians or any public servant to be held to the highest standard.

  36. Anonymous says:

    So nobody is going to mention that the word Niger was turned and misrepresented by the whites? The question should be, since they turned it into something derogatory is, why would THEY want to say it, other than being mean and unkind, when using it? Smh racists………….there is no black privilege!

  37. Perry L Fanning (FacebookMe) says:

    Most people on here defending the usage of the “N” word are racially biased and probably feel pretty excited and happy typing that word repeatedly. Dumb stump buzzards… I see through you.

  38. Bob says:

    Only ignorant people u$e that word! -signed a black man.

  39. Ru says:

    1)No one should be using it.
    2) law officers when on the job should not use any language that is improper like any other job
    3) If law officers don’t have a standard of conduct then how can they enforce or give directives.
    4) The Owner of the establishment should of step in and condemned the person using that tone of language on the property
    5) Yes america is to sensitive
    6) erou-americans want to claim reverse racism then maybe they should do more to combat racism practices by their own people.
    7) most importantly, the n- word does not and has never meant black. And black is not a nationality.
    We as a country start to understand that then we can start the healing process.
    Peace to life!

  40. Reggie Price says:

    A nigger is an ignorant person, they come in all colors, The word means absolutely nothing to me because I’m not an ignorant person……! People of All races should understand the word has historically been a dehumanizing word used to degrade People of African descendants. It has no power to Me. I don’t think using it by anyone is cool. One of the words that needs to Die!!!! Along with all the other ethnic slurs used to dehumanize or degrade. It’s only One Race- the Human Race!!!!!!

  41. Virginia Washington says:

    It goes without saying that the words “negro,” “nigger,” “colored,” and “black” are an important part of the language and discourse of African American enslavement—as terms used by slave owners, slave traders, slave catchers, and slaves themselves; as terms still used today by people living with the legacy of slavery;

  42. Anonymous says:

    For all you Karens and Brads saying if we say it you can. Try that shit and when you get knocked tf out!! Charge that shit to the game.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I don’t agree with either side if the black kid could be proven on camera that he did say it, however the cop is being suspended because he should have held his position with higher regard/standard!
    This is the big problem with police, they’re very unprofessional and need a continuous ethics training

  44. Rick blackford says:

    the word could die out if EVERYONE quit using
    It. It wasn’t me and my kids that taught the
    Word to my grandkids. Thats another generation
    Of people to unlearn stupid shit. People in general
    Are dumb about stuff.

  45. Anonymous says:

    White people so god damn stupid! They know that shit means something different when it’s spewed out their lips!

  46. Rebecca says:

    I am disgusted by the number of racists using this forum as an opportunity to repeatedly use the N-word, which does NOT mean “ignorant”! It is a derogatory word intended to demean people of color. The officer is NEVER allowed to use the word, period! Sheesh!

  47. Anonymous says:

    What the hell is wrong with you commentors? You care more about your right to speak on word then you care for the well being or even life of others. People like you never spray out when anyone not in your circle is harmed. You are dispicable, evil and will be the downfall of this country.

  48. Anonymous says:

    No, It’s not played in every Black Household because it is not played in my house. So don’t stereotype every person for the color of their skin. Let’s be more sensible about some things in life instead of degrading one another because if their race. There are more important things going on in this world.

  49. Anonymous says:

    As a former black police officer, Ning shouldn’t have repeated the word, officers are held to a higher standard then civilians. One can use the same analogy with the hurtful and derogatory words that the Nazis use for Jews. All you have to do is look at the protests were white Americans are using that type of language and protesting with Nazi flags it doesn’t make it right.

  50. Qaneta Richards says:

    I’m sorry but you all are wrong on tbis point .I listened to the exchange several times and not once did I hear the word except for when the officer said it. And for all of you who think it ok for the word nigger that is a long history being used in slavery is not ok and regardless of how you feel the officer was wrong on every level he was suppose to be professional at all times.

  51. Tiny says:

    Negro is black. Nigger does not mean black . It is a negative word regardless of who uses it. The term was used to degrade and entire group of people. People still use it as a form of hatred. It needs to be removed from peoples vocabulary regardless of race.

  52. Anonymous says:


  53. Lawrence Rucker says:

    Police officers are supposed to be peace officers, therefore you are supposed to rise above these types of incidents! You are supposed to use language that De-escalate the situation not incite or make it worse! That’s what police officers need to realize Your Job Is To Calm The Situation! I remember as a Detroit Firefighter many times on hot days people would open up fire hydrants to cool off, and we would be called to turn the hydrant off. There were times I would have to tell my white coworkers that I would talk to the people, because some of my coworkers would talk at them like they were talking to their children; as to where I would explain to them that I was simply doing my job and that it was nothing personal.

  54. Daffy says:

    Police officers are horrible!!!!
    DEFUND THEM!!! Get rid of all of them.

    The world would be safer without them and there will be less African Americans murdered and harassed.

    It’s not their world but they think it is.

  55. Denise says:

    Yes words hurt Dave or should I say Cracker. You know since words don’t hurt. How can you even begin to say what hurts a race of people? If you’re so brave say that shit to a black person and don’t run when you say it it’s just a word right?

  56. VMason says:

    I understand the apology but then why said it wasn’t directed at one individual, when they have bodycam and cellphone proof. This is why people don’t trust the police it’s all politics. Setting an example would’ve been not saying the slur back at all.

  57. Anonymous says:

    To even say the word by anyone is bad period. Most people mean it in a derogatory, ignorance way, knowing that it’s going to upset that person. Police should have more discipline and self control to deescalate situations before they get out of control. Most of these confrontations is not nesseccary or warranted.

  58. Anonymous says:

    N-word with “er” is a hateful, racist word, that does mean ignorant, BUT slave owners(1865) and pre-civil rights act(1964), white people called Black people the N-word to make them feel less than human and second class citizens that American laws said they were pre-civil rights. Every time a white person uses it towards a black person, even 2020, you are telling him he is a second class citizen or less than human, not ignorant. Understand from a white person.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Funny that people want to hold police officers to a higher standard but fail to correct the gentleman that was being disrespectful. You reap what you sow.

    You don’t have the right to be disrespectful and then get made with you are not treated with respect. Respect works both ways.

  60. Daisy M says:

    Me Colleen up there needs a little educating. The N word does NOT mean black. The fact that you think that’s what it means, shows what kind of person you are, how you were raised to think towards black people, and is a huge part of why racism still exists and probably always will, as people who think like you are still around to teach these prejudiced ideals to younger generations. The fact that several people before, you already stated that the meaning of the word is ‘ignorant,’ yet you still chose to say it meant ‘black,’ is very telling.

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