An eight-year veteran of the Tampa Police Department has been fired from his position as a school resource officer after a racist comment was captured on his body-worn camera, the agency said.
According to the police department, on Nov. 13, 2020, Delvin White was caught on video referencing a group of people as "ghetto N******" while on the phone.
While under investigation, authorities said White also informed his supervisor that there was another incident a few days later on Nov. 30, 2020, where he used the N-word again during an arrest.
His body-worn camera captured him uttering the word twice while making an arrest for trespassing, according to a news release.
"Derogatory statements made by police officers jeopardize the trust that our department works to establish with our community," Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said. "Tampa Police officers are held to a higher standard and incidents like this negatively impact the entire law enforcement profession".
White was terminated due to violations of policy that prohibit discriminatory conduct. He was most recently assigned to Middleton High School as a resource officer.
In response to White's firing, the Tampa Police Benevolent Association issued a statement in support of him and says it will file a formal grievance on his behalf in hopes he will be reinstated.
"We stand with the City of Tampa and the Tampa Police Department in their efforts to stamp out racism in every form and condemn any and all derogatory statements in or out of uniform," a statement on Facebook read.
The facts in the Delvin White matter do not reflect an act or any intent that warrants the punishment he received for his alleged transgression. Officer White is a beloved and trusted member of the East Tampa community that he was raised in and that he protected every day. Despite his misstep, throughout the investigation, private citizens and other individuals associated with his school contacted the Chief of Police lending their support and reflecting their admiration for his character and contributions. The PBA will file a formal grievance on Officer White’s behalf with the hope and expectation of getting this valued Officer back to work."
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