Using racial slurs almost never turns out well for anyone, especially sworn officers of the law. An officer in Columbia, South Carolina found that out the hard way when he was fired on Monday (Aug. 31) for using the n-word during a heated argument with people standing outside of a bar.
CNN reports that on Aug. 30, Sgt. Chad Walker was in the midst of demanding that customers leave a neighborhood bar after the mandatory closing time instilled by the state due to the coronavirus pandemic when the slur was said. Bodycam footage revealed that he had been confronted by a white man who told him that he was talking to Black citizens “as if they are less than human.”
Walker responded by pointing at a Black man, that he’d been engaging with, and said: “People of color? The gentleman right there that called me a n****?” The officer repeated the slur, leading to customers taking offense at his choice of words. As he continued to argue with the crowd, he responded multiple times, saying, “he can say it to me, but I can’t say it to him? Why?”
Soon after, Walker was suspended with pay pending a review of the situation. Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook issued a public apology on behalf of the department that night. “The repetition of the racial slur and failure to deescalate the situation was inexcusable,” he said.
The following day, the police department publicly announced that, after the investigation, Walker had been fired due to “unsatisfactory performance and courtesy.”
“We will continue to hold each other to the professional, ethical, and moral standards expected by our citizens and place the highest priority on maintaining public trust,” said Holbrook in an official statement announcing Walker’s termination. “As I’ve stated before, when setbacks occur and mistakes are made, we must be willing to acknowledge them, fix them, learn from them, and continue to move forward together."