A black police officer in Florida was fired for using the n-word while on duty during a phone call that was caught on his body camera. Delvin White was an eight-year veteran of the Tampa police force who was most recently assigned as a resource officer at Middleton High School.
Tampa Police Department Chief Brian Dugan said, “Derogatory statements made by police officers jeopardize the trust that our department works to establish with our community. Tampa Police officers are held to a higher standard and incidents like this negatively impact the entire law enforcement profession.” The City of Tampa Personnel Manual B1.2 Discriminatory Conduct states, in part, that “violation of this policy shall be grounds for immediate dismissal in the absence of extenuating circumstances.” In other words, firing White was not truly up for debate if the letter of the Department’s own policies are followed.
There were two separate incidents of “n-word” usage from Mr. White. The first was a phone call that he had taken while his body camera was recording. White referred to a group of black people as “ghetto n——s”. White admitted to another incident during an investigation that happened during an arrest for trespassing.
Outrage sparked online after the penalty for Delvin White’s n-word usage made it to social media. Many commenters commented that it is unfair for a black man to get fired for using the “n-word” on a body-worn camera but white officers avoid any penalty for killing a black person on a body-worn camera. Of course, each situation is different and there are police who are forced to take lives, on body cameras, who never face any criminal action. These officers are of every race, religion, and ethnicity. The issue here is that the majority of cases that make the mainstream media are ones that support the narrative of the “racist and dangerous white male.”