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Mississippi Police Chief Fired After Racist Audio Recording Leaks

Sam Dobbins, a police chief in Mississipp,i was fired after a leaked recording showed that he had bragged about killing 13 people in the line of duty and used the n-word repeatedly, including to describe one Black person the white man says he shot at least 119 times. The racist, homophobic and expletive-laden remarks that Sam Dobbins, the chief in the small town of Lexington, made during an April conversation with an officer caused an uproar this week in the Mississippi Delta community, reports the Washington Post. The 16-minute conversation, first disclosed by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, was recorded by Robert Lee Hooker, a Black man who resigned as an officer from the Lexington Police Department last week due to what he described as a toxic work environment. In the recording, Dobbins can be heard boasting to Hooker about all of the men he killed when he was an officer.

“I’ve killed 13 men in my career, justified,” Dobbins said. “In my line of duty, I have shot and killed 13 different people.” While describing an alleged shootout in a cornfield, Dobbins claimed to Hooker that he “saved 67 kids in a school” by shooting a Black man more than 100 times. “I shot that n----- 119 times, okay?” Dobbins said to Hooker, adding that the man he shot was “DRT,” or “dead right there.” It’s unclear what case he’s citing, but Dobbins reiterated, “The vehicle was shot 319 times, but he was hit 119 times by me.” As backlash mounted in Lexington — a town of 1,600 people, 80 percent of whom are Black — the board of aldermen voted 3-2 Wednesday to oust Dobbins, effective immediately. Jill Collen Jefferson, the founder and president of JULIAN, said “the corruption we’re seeing here is on a scale I haven’t seen since the civil rights movement.” “This audio is damning,” Jefferson said. “It’s not just a reflection of one officer. It’s a reflection of an entire culture of policing, and it should spur Congress to finally rein in this modern-day slave patrol. A culture like this does not deserve immunity.”


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