- Former Sheriff Jody Green resigned from his position after a tape leaked of him threatening to fire black officers, according to WITN.
- The conversation was recorded by the former acting sheriff in 2019, who is running against Greene in 2022.
- Green denied any racial intent in his actions.
A sheriff in Columbus County, North Carolina, has resigned after being caught on tape threatening to fire his black officers.
“I’m fed up. I’m fed up with these black bastards,” former Sheriff Jody Green said in a recording obtained by NBC affiliate WECT. “I’ll clean house and be done with it. And we’ll go from there.”
Green resigned following an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation, according to local news outlet WITN.
The audio, obtained by WECT, was a recorded conversation that took place in February 2019 between then-captain Jason Soles and Melvin Campbell, who are both Black.
Soles ran against Greene in the Columbus County Sheriff election this year before resigning, according to WECT.
According to the publication, the election results were contested after allegations that Green did not live in Columbus County and that he was sworn in before the state certified the election results.
While election officials investigated those complaints, Soles was appointed acting sheriff, according to WECT.
Immediately after his appointment, Soules would constantly receive late-night phone calls from Green, according to WECT.
Soules said in the release that he began recording the conversations after a phone call between him and Green in which he made a comment saying he hated Black Democrats.
According to WECT, Green wanted to know who in the department was communicating with his opponents during the election.
“Tomorrow will be a new king’s day. I am still the mother**king sheriff, and I will go and fire every god**n [inaudible]. Fuck them black bastards. Do they think I’m scared? They are stupid,” Greene said in audio obtained by WECT. “I don’t know what else to do with it. So it’s time to clean them up. Somewhere in there is a villain saying what we are doing. And I won’t have it. I’m not going to have it.”
According to the recording obtained by WECT, Green threatened to fire anyone associated with his political opponents.
“We’re going to cut off the snake’s head for the king. Period. And Melvin Campbell is as big a snake as Lewis Hatcher ever dared to be. Every Black man I know, you’ve got to fire him to begin with, he’s a snake,” Green said. .
Soles, who ran for Sheriff against Green before resigning, told the news outlet that he showed the recording to County Commissioners during Green’s tenure.
Columbus County Commissioner Buddy Byrd, who was the only one to follow Soles, told WECT news that nothing could have been done without the support of his fellow commissioners, who he said supported Greene.
Soules would also meet with an agent from the States Bureau of Investigation, who told him nothing could be done until the District Attorney or Attorney General launched a formal investigation and to simply continue recording the conversations, according to WECT.
Columbus County District Attorney John David told WECT he first learned of the recording Monday and that while Green’s comments did not constitute a criminal violation, they raised concerns about biased policing.
Greene said in a statement that Soles altered the phone recording to promote his campaign.
“The video has been altered to give Jason Soules’ audience a distorted and misleading view designed solely to promote his campaign,” Green said in the statement. “As shown on the screen, the phone conversation lasted over 8 minutes. Jason submitted only 6 minutes of video to WECT for viewing, indicating that the video has been tampered with.”
“In my opinion, Jason’s intent with the recording was to further incite racial division and use racial division to further his personal agenda for a political candidacy,” Green said in the statement.
Green denied any racial intent or action regarding the recorded phone conversation, according to his statement.
“I recognize that there were racial tensions during the 2018 election certification and that the media and some members of the community referred to both political sides as black and white,” Green said.