Two white law enforcement agents from a small Georgia town have been ejected from their positions following the discovery of racially-charged footage from a body camera thought to be not working. The footage was reportedly recorded around June 2020 when Hamilton police officers wore bodycams to a Black Lives Matter protest in the municipality shortly after George Floyd was killed.
According to WTVM News, now-former police chief, Gene Allmond, and a now-former patrolman, John Brooks, were booted from the Hamilton Police Department last week after Mayor Julie Brown and city council members viewed the incendiary video on Monday.
The footage showed the two men spewing racist vitriol, including the n-word and even making sexually-explicit comments about Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms and Stacy Abrams, a former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate– both are Black.
The damning 6-minute video also captured Allmond and Brooks negatively discussing Black Americans and slavery.
“Well, you know what now? This, I don’t know if this has any merit, back in the slave times, but there was a lot of them mistreated,” Allmond said. “I don’t have any doubt about that.”
“But for the most part, it seems to me like, they furnished them a house to live in, they furnished ’em clothes to put on their back, they furnished ’em food to put on their table, and all they had to do was f****n’ work,” he continued.
Brooks responded to the bigoted rhetoric, saying, “And now, we give them all those things, and they don’t have to work.”
Allmond laughed, saying, “That’s it!”
Buddy Walker, the assistant to the mayor, told the New York Times that Brooks was attempting to show Allmond how the camera worked.
“I’m not sure if he was stupid enough — obviously he was stupid enough — not to know it was still working and that he still had it on,” he said. “The words just rolled out of their mouths. There was no hesitation.”
Initially, the officers thought the bodycams were broken, but it turned out the storage was full and couldn’t hold any more recordings, the publication reported. A city employee found the disturbing video and turned it into the mayor’s office, where Walker and Mayor Pro Temp Ransom Farley, a Black man, reviewed the video.
“To look at the video with him, to listen to someone that he’s known for many years — my reaction was incredibly bad. You can imagine his reaction,” Walker said regarding watching the video with Farley.
Farley’s reaction was less benign.
“It hurts,” he said, “when you think you know somebody and you don’t.”
“Everybody knew what had to be done,” Walker said. “It was not one of our proudest days.”
After confronting the two disgraced officers with the evidence, Brooks asked to see the bodycam video.
“He watched the entire video and then came in and told the mayor pro temp that he was sorry — that that was really not the way he was,” Walker said.
Farley rebuffed Brooks’ apology.
“I’m not accepting your apology because you’re sorry that you got caught. You’re not sorry because of what you said,” the mayor pro temp responded.
“I own the fact that I am Black and I am gay,” he added. “If you’re a bigot, if you’re a racist, own it.”
Allmond resigned on Monday, and Brooks was terminated on Tuesday after failing to give back department-issued materials as agreed.