An Albany, New York, police officer who was suspended after a sheriff’s deputy’s body camera captured him making derogatory comments about Black people will now be fired by the department.
David W. Haupt was placed on a 30-day suspension on Wednesday, Nov. 11, after footage of him calling Black people “the worst f–ing race,” was handed over to the Albany Police Department on Tuesday by the county district attorney’s office.
Haupt joined the department in 2016, and was initially suspended pending an internal investigation into his comments. The department has now announced plans to terminate Haupt.
Chief Eric Hawkins, who is Black, called Haupt’s comments “inappropriate” and said they weren’t reflective of the department’s values.
He initially refused to release the footage of the conversation because the investigation was ongoing, but it was released by the department on Friday afternoon.
The unnamed deputy’s body camera captured the conversation between him and Haupt as the two stood at a gas station on Nov. 1 while Haupt pumped gas into his patrol car.
“Literally, it does get old,” the deputy said, “because literally every day, it’s not like it’s an overwhelming 50-percent-to-50-percent shot where you get a call and they’re like, ‘Yeah, a white male — ,’ or, you know what I mean.”
Haupt responded, “My buddies listen to the scanner and they send me texts all the time, and they go, ‘Is the suspect ever a white male?’ and I go ‘No.’ I know it sounds terrible to say, but I don’t give a f— what anybody says, I sincerely don’t. Because, bro, they are the worst f—ing race and I don’t — you can’t deny, like, over the last X amount of months, they are — you know because we work together — they are getting worse and worse, and people are defending that. Are you f—ing kidding me?”
The deputy replied, “Uh-huh,” but didn’t offer further response.
The clip was discovered during a routine review of body camera footage and turned over to the district attorney’s office.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan responded to the incident after learning about it, saying, “That statement in and of itself can be construed no other way that being a racist statement that does not reflect the values of the Albany Police Department,” the Times Union reported.
Sheriff Craig Apple said he wanted to have a talk with the deputy in the video but his actions likely would not warrant discipline.
In just the past month Haupt had completed the department’s racial diversity training and workshops.
The district attorney’s office will review all cases involving Haupt and notify defense attorneys. Arrests he has made will also be reviewed for complaints.
If Haupt contests his termination, the arbitration process could take months, and he could continue to receive pay under the terms of the police union contract.