A police officer with the St. Petersburg Police Department in Florida was filmed using a racial slur during an interaction with a Black man. The officer was given the choice to be fired or resign; he chose the latter.
Earlier this week, Levonte Daniels used his cell phone camera to record officer Michael Naples using the racial slur, reported WFLA.
"If you can hear my reaction, I'm completely thrown off by the fact that a police officer to my face just called me n****r in 2018. And that immediately, it upset me to the point where I'm a father so I have to explain this to my kids in 2018," Daniels told WFLA.
"We call these people, as far as the police department, to come help us, to come save us, to come do for us, but then like, this is how you feel on the inside, and you really want to help me?"
The incident occurred when Naples was called to investigate a dispute between Daniels and a pizza delivery driver. The driver accused Daniels of hitter her car with a fire extinguisher, but Daniels claims the driver threw change in his face.
Once Naples arrived, he wrote Daniels a citation for criminal mischief. This resulted in a back-and-forth between Daniels and the officer.
“You’re a piece of s**t,” Daniels said Naples said.
After Daniels retaliated by calling Naples the same, the officer escalated his language and called Daniels a “piece of s**t n****r.”
"I was floored. I'm like, 'These are the people that they hire to protect and serve us. The people that our tax dollars are going to pay their pay, their salaries,'" Jahari Dixon, Daniels' fiancé, told WFLA.
On Monday night, Daniels posted the video to Facebook and contacted the department.
Naples resigned Tuesday morning.
"At 1 o'clock this afternoon, Officer Naples resigned from the police department. He would have been fired because we will not tolerate any officer using any type of racial slurs or swearing at a scene or using profanity," Police Chief Anthony Holloway said at a press briefing.
Chief Anthony Holloway said this type of behavior will not be tolerated in his department.
"We always tell the officers whenever you're on duty, assume that you're being recorded by someone and that's what we expect from officers to be professional at all times," said Chief Holloway.
In the meeting between Naples and Chief Holloway, who is Black, Naples admitted to using the slur and apologized.
"He apologized. He just said, 'I was wrong. I got caught up in the moment,'" said Chief Holloway.
Michael Naples was a probationary officer and was sworn in on July 10, 2017.
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