Despite mounting pressure to resign, a North Carolina sheriff is adamant about keeping his post after he was caught calling deputies "Black b*****ds" in a recording obtained by WECT, a local news station.
A local district attorney is among many urging Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene to step down following the 2019 phone call where he threatened to fire "every Black that I know."
“My hope is that you will recognize the harm that your statements have caused and that you will make the honorable decision to resign,” Jon David, the district attorney for Bladen, Brunswick, and Columbus counties, wrote in a letter to Greene on Monday (October 3), per The News & Observer.
At David’s request, the State Bureau of Investigation opened an obstruction of justice probe last week into Sheriff Greene.
That same day, WECT released audio of Greene's 6.5-minute call with former Captain Jason Soles, who recorded their conversation in February 2019.
“I’m sick of these Black b*****ds. I’m going to clean house and be done with it,” Greene said to Soles during the call.
The conversation came shortly after Greene narrowly defeated the previous sheriff Lewis Hatcher, who is Black. Soles was temporarily appointed as the acting sheriff while election officials investigated a complaint regarding whether Greene was eligible for the position.
Greene believed that the Black deputies in the department were loyal to Hatcher and had leaked information about him.
In the phone call, Greene suggested that disloyal Black deputies be fired.
“Every Black that I know, you need to fire him to start with, he’s a snake,” Greene said to Soles.
Several Black officers in leadership positions were later demoted or fired, according to reports.
Greene posted a lengthy defense on Facebook, claiming the recording had been altered, but the sheriff didn't deny making the racist comments.
On Thursday (September 29), Greene told his supporters on Facebook that he would not resign.
“I will continue to serve no matter the allegations or rumors,” he wrote, per The News & Observer.
Along with the DA, the North Carolina NAACP has also called for Greene to resign.
“His language is divisive, nasty, and offensive — his words are disparaging and hurtful to people of color. His actions have cast a cloud over his ability to execute the office with impartiality,” the NAACP said in a statement.