The Pinellas County Sheriff’s office announced Thursday, Nov. 19, that the detention sergeant who made a racist comment earlier this year has resigned.
Sgt. Richard Nascimento Jr., 53, was overheard on Aug. 17 by a Black female deputy saying he didn’t “want any more Black females” in the training division.
The Black woman who overheard the comment has not been named. She is the only Black female assigned to the division.
Although the comment was made in August, departmental leaders said they did not learn about it until Oct. 29, as it was previously unreported.
According to a statement released by the sheriff’s office, the deputy walked into a room and overheard Nascimento speaking to a supervisor.
Nascimento was a member of the Department of Detention and Corrections and was assigned to the Training Division.
The department’s statement also said that Nascimento’s comment suggested that “black female deputies would not be considered for transfer because of their race and gender.”
Nascimento was placed on administrative leave with pay after departmental leaders became aware of the comment, and he was later removed from his position. An internal investigation was launched, and the Administrative Review Board was set to reveal the results of the investigation on Thursday.
Nascimento chose to resign Wednesday, as opposed to waiting to learn the results of the investigation.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said on Thursday that he would have fired Nascimento if he hadn’t resigned.
“It is the policy of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office that all members shall enjoy a work environment free of all forms of discrimination based on, but not limited (to), a member’s race and gender,” the Sheriff’s Office said in the statement.
A Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy resigned in 2017 when an investigation uncovered racist content on his phone. One of the memes found on Shawn Pappas’ phone showed a white child standing next to a monkey, and was captioned, “Stop Racism, black children and white children are the same.”