A six-and-a-half-minute phone conversation between two Columbus County Sheriff’s Department members created a firestorm this fall in an otherwise tranquil, rural area.

In February 2019, Jody Greene, the county’s sheriff, disparaged his Black employees in a phone call with police Capt. Jason Soles. He called them “Black bastards” And he said he would “clean house” of them, and no one could stop him— because he was “still the motherfucking sheriff.”

In September, the recording was leaked to local television stations. Soles, a Democrat ended up running against Greene.

The fallout led to Greene resigning from the state sheriff’s association, the county district attorney filing for his removal from office, and Greene eventually resigning from his position — but he still was on this year’s ballot.

While his recorded comments caused local outrage, his fellow Republicans supported his candidacy and he won quickly reelection in the office he just resigned.

According to unofficial results from the county, Greene beat Soles by 54% votes. Greene will be officially sworn into office on December 5. However, County District Attorney Jon David said he would file another official court petition and order for Greene’s removal.

Greene was well-known to law enforcement officers throughout the state, including many Black sheriffs. He eventually became a symbol of deeper problems. North Carolina Law enforcement In 2018: Lewis Hatcher was defeated by Greene for the office of sheriff in Columbus County. Greene mentioned Hatcher as one of the Black officers Greene referred to in the telephone call during his racist tirade.

“Tomorrow’s gonna be a new fucking day. I’m still the motherfucking sheriff… Fuck them, Black bastards, they think I’m scared? They’re stupid. I don’t know what else to do with it. So it’s time to clean them out,” Greene stated this in the recording.

“I ain’t gonna have it. I’m gonna cut the snake’s fucking head off. Period… and Melvin Campbell is as big a snake as Lewis Hatcher ever dared to be. Every Black that I know, you need to fire him to start with, he’s a snake!” Greene continued.

After the conversation, at most one Black person got fired.

A racist sheriff in North Carolina He was reelected in spite of a leak recording that he used expletives in a diatribe against his Black employees.

Paul Souders via Getty Images

Black sheriffs from the area demanded answers once the audio recordings of the phone call were made public.

Greene resigned from the sheriff’s association days after his remarks surfaced, though he remained in office for a few more weeks before leaving his official post.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden is familiar with Greene, and has been to several professional meetings. He told The Sunday Review that Greene’s election is “not fair” Neither to Columbus County nor the other sheriffs of the state. He believes the state sheriff’s association should have taken stronger action against Greene, but they likely didn’t because they were scared. He noted that they were also campaigning.

“What happened was the other sheriffs were nervous because they were all running for office,” McFadden said it to The Sunday Review.

Black sheriffs have the highest dues and are responsible for the most state-wide jurisdictions than their white counterparts. Yet, McFadden explained that they hold the least power and influence in the association’s decision-making and vetting process of members and rules.

“There is no diversity or inclusion in that organization. Black sheriffs are not on any executive boards,” He concluded.

Despite his resignation, Greene still was on this year’s ballot. A voter fills out a ballot at a polling place on Nov. 8 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Despite his resignation, Greene still was on this year’s ballot. A A voter votes at a Winston-Salem polling station on Nov. 8. North Carolina.

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images

“Nobody has said, ‘how do we move forward as an organization?’ They go to sheriffs who don’t look like me to get things done and changed. I think there should be more; there should be training. It should be more than he just resigned,” McFadden said.

McFadden claimed that the Black sheriffs were first sworn in and were nicknamed the “magnificent 8” Because they were elected to the leadership of each major North Carolina 2018 city.

Two Black sheriffs were present among the 15 members of the executive committee at one time. According to the, they both died. association’s website. No other Black sheriff has since become a part of the association’s executive committee.

David’s petition included several instances of Greene abusing his authority and intimidating his subordinates.

Greene and one his detectives were alleged to have had a sexual relationship that lasted months, according to the filing. “interfered with the necessary and proper administration” of the sheriff’s office.

David’s filing states Greene and another detective were having sex in his county-issued Dodge Durango, his office and a shooting range. Their intimate relationships were often while they were still on duty. The filing states that the detective fell in love with his child and became pregnant.

Greene was also charged with criminal offenses against a county commissioner for voting against pay increases and the provision of riot gear to Columbus County. Sheriff’s Office. Giles Byrd (the commissioner) stated that he believed it to be an intimidation tactic. This was after a judge dismissed his case.

An investigation The obstruction of justice case against Greene and the department is ongoing.