Florida school resource officer fired for using N-word

Delvin White says he used word as it is ‘commonly used in today’s society’

TAMPA, Fla. – A Black resource officer at a Florida high school was fired after a random audit of his body-worn camera captured him using a racial slur multiple times, police said.

A disposition letter released by the Tampa Police Department said Officer Delvin White was fired Tuesday for “violations of policy that prohibit discriminatory conduct,” a news release said.

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He had been with the department for eight years and was a resource officer at Middleton High School. The officer used the N-word while on the phone and directly to a person he was arresting on Nov. 30, 2020, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

White told his supervisor he did not mean for the word to be derogatory, police said. White said that he was using the word as it is “commonly used in today’s society as a means of shared culture and experiences among the African American community,” the letter said.

Warning: Video contains explicit language

White was recorded saying the word to reference a “group of persons” while on the phone and driving home from an off-duty assignment on Nov. 13, the letter said. He later used it again while talking on the phone with his wife.

“Some will say you have more responsibility. You manage a multi-million dollar property or (I make sure) some ghetto (racial slur) don’t get shot and stabbed, I don’t know. But to they momma though they worth a million dollars,” White said in the video.

Camera footage also captured White using the word twice while arresting someone for trespassing on Nov. 30, 2020, police said.

Video from that incident shows White telling the male that he needed to leave campus due to a suspension.

When the male refused to leave, White took him into custody.

“You’re going to jail, (racial slur),” White said, according to the footage.

The video shows White used the term again as he was walking to his patrol car and the suspect began to struggle.

“(Racial slur), you trippin’,” White said.

Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan said in a statement that officers are held to a higher standard and such incidents negatively impact the entire profession.

“Derogatory statements made by police officers jeopardize the trust that our department works to establish with our community,” Dugan said.

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