NEWSGeorgia cops caught bragging about targeting black drivers in insanely racist Facebook messagesNathan Wellman | October 5, 2016
Two Georgia sheriffs lost their jobs after it was discovered that the pair of them regularly exchanged racist and sexist Facebook messages – which revealed that they specifically targeted black drivers at traffic stops.
“I have a dream. That one day my people will not act like animals,” posted Deputy Brant Gaither of the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Department. Deputy Jeremy Owens replied with “Lol. That’ll never happen.”
The two served together as a special traffic unit, patrolling Interstate 95 and apparently specifically targeting black drivers.
“It’s supposed to rain tomorrow,” Owens wrote in one message. “Might not get too many niggs.”
“I hope we get a few but (expletive) if we don’t,” Gaither replied.
Other exchanges included jokes at the expense of domestic violence victims, as well as a joke involving a black pregnancy test and fried chicken.
The officers were discovered when another deputy was assigned Owens’ old computer, on which his Facebook account was still open. When Sheriff Stephen Jessup saw the communications, he said they made him “want to throw up.”
“There was never any question of what I needed to do and I did it,” Jessup said. “I do not tolerate that in my department.”
Gaither was quickly fired, and Owens resigned the next day.
“This case goes deeper than two officers caught using racist language on their personal social media pages,” said Sarah Geraghty, an attorney from the Southern Center for Human Rights who was dispatched to the county in response to the discovery of the officer’s communications. “The messages reference an explicit intent by these law enforcement officials to ‘get’ black motorists. Our investigation to date suggests that this may be the tip of the iceberg.”
After learning that he was being fired, Gaither acknowledged he had made a “stupid mistake,” but also defended himself, saying “It was just a joke, we all do it.”
An internal investigation has thus far been unable to discover concrete evidence of other deputies taking part in similar racist behavior, but prosecutors have said that some of the cases that the officers brought against black citizens should now be dismissed.