A Georgia police chief and officer are unemployed after body camera footage captured the two repeatedly using racial slurs, saying Black people should have been grateful to slave owners for providing their basic necessities and demeaning Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams.
The conversation between former Hamilton Police Chief Gene Allmond and Officer John Brooks took place last June at a Black Lives Matter protest in Hamilton, a small town about 90 miles southwest of Atlanta on the Alabama border.
When the body camera footage begins the two seem to be discussing the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks by Atlanta police that month.
“How come when you tase a f—ing n—-r, it’s like you done killed him 27 times? The guy’s running, he’s got the taser in his hand, and you see him and he turns and you see him fire the taser at the officer,” John Brooks says in the video.
The conversation then turned both racist and sexist when the two began discussing who they’d prefer to have sex with, Bottoms or Abrams.
“If I had to f—k a n—-r, I’d rather f—k the mayor than Stacey Abrams,” Brooks says. Allmond replies in agreement, “Yessir.”
Then the two voice their disdain for the Black Lives Matter protest. “F—ing protest … son of a b—h … behind these f—ing people,” Allmond says. “I don’t own no slaves. My folks didn’t own no slaves. … What are we talking about, 200 f—ing years ago?”
Brooks laughs and notes he found out some of his relatives did own slaves when doing family history research. He also finds it hilarious that one of the relatives of a woman named “Kris” (presumed to be his wife) was a slave overseer on a plantation and a local newspaper called him “the meanest man alive.”
“I don’t know if this has any merit back in the slave times, but I’m sure there was a lot of them mistreated, I don’t have no doubt about that,” Allmond says. “But for the most part, it seems to me like, they furnished them a house to live in. They furnished them clothes to put on their back. They furnished them food to put on their table and all they had to do was f—ing work.”
“And now we give ’em all those things and they don’t have to f—ing work,” Brooks chimed in. “That’s it,” Allmond replied.
The officers thought their body cameras were not working at the time, but the footage was discovered by a city employee on Jan. 25 who was checking to see if the equipment was functional, The New York Times reported.
The footage was turned over to Buddy Walker, an assistant to Mayor Julie Brown, who told WRBL the city council members couldn’t get through the entire video because of “how ugly it gets.”
Hamilton City Attorney Ron Iddins said they knew they had to take action immediately. “After reviewing the footage, I think it speaks for itself. The city, its failure to take action at that point and time would have been inexplicable,” Iddins said. “It had to be done.”
Brown echoed Iddins’ sentiment. “We wanted them off the force because we don’t want that kind of ugliness here in Hamilton,” Brown said. “Race, I don’t think has been an issue here. At least it hasn’t been in the 37 years I’ve been here, and we just didn’t want that, especially now in this day and age we want more unity. The whole country needs more unity, we need to heal, so we didn’t want anything stopping that.”
Hamilton’s Mayor Pro Tempore Ransom Farley, who is Black and has known Allmond for many years, said he had to leave the room after watching the video. “It hurts when you think you know somebody and you don’t,” Farley told the Times.
Allmond resigned Jan. 25 and Brooks was fired after failing to return his department-issued equipment by the agreed-upon time. Brooks allegedly apologized to Farley after viewing the video and noted it wasn’t a true reflection of him, but Farley said refused to accept it.
“I’m not accepting your apology, because you’re sorry that you got caught. You’re not sorry because of what you said,” Farley said he told Brooks. “I own the fact that I am Black and I am gay,” Mr. Farley added. “If you’re a bigot, if you’re a racist, own it.”