A Black Florida school resource officer was fired Tuesday after a random audit of body camera footage revealed he had used the N-word on multiple occasions, including during a November phone call with his wife and during an arrest later that same month.
Officer Delvin White, school resource officer at Middleton High School and eight-year veteran of the Tampa Police Department was fired Tuesday for “violations of policy that prohibit discriminatory conduct,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.
“Derogatory statements made by police officers jeopardize the trust that our department works to establish with our community,” said Chief Brian Dugan in a statement. “Tampa Police officers are held to a higher standard and incidents like this negatively impact the entire law enforcement profession.”
A disposition letter released by the department indicated that White used the slur on multiple occasions. The department also released 12 minutes of body camera footage that shows White using the slur.
Body camera footage captured White saying “bunch of n-ggas” from a squad car as people are heard talking outside near the car.
During a phone call with his wife, White used the word again, saying his job is to make sure “ghetto n-ggas don’t get shot and stabbed.”
On Nov. 30, White used the word again while arresting a suspect. Body camera footage captured White telling the suspect, “You going to jail now, n-gga.”
Police said White told his supervisor he didn’t mean the word in a derogatory way and used it as it is “commonly used in today’s society as a means of shared culture and experiences among the African-American community.”
The Tampa Police Benevolent Association has backed White amid the controversy and says it will file a formal grievance on his behalf in hopes that he will be reinstated.
“We stand with the City of Tampa and the Tampa Police Department in their efforts to stamp out racism in every form and condemn any and all derogatory statements in or out of uniform,” a statement on Facebook read. “The facts in the Delvin White matter do not reflect an act or any intent that warrants the punishment he received for his alleged transgression.
“The PBA will file a formal grievance on Officer White’s behalf with the hope and expectation of getting this valued Officer back to work,” the union said.