We need a federal Cop czar to make these ruling uniform, otherwise 400 police departments will come up with 400 ruling on Klan Cops
Fired Cop Testifies Over Alleged Racist Texts
By Joan Murray
FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — A Fort Lauderdale cop fired over alleged racist text messages testified Friday in an effort to get his job back.
Former Police Officer James Wells spoke for the first time about it on Friday after he and two other officers were fired in March 2015. Investigators said the texts were laced with racial slurs.
He insists he is not racist and was trying to convince an arbitrator his dismissal wasn’t fair and he should be reinstated.
Wells said the “n” word he used in the texts was used a lot on the streets and means different things. He also said his African-American friends called him the “n” word.
Wells said when he used the “n” word he was talking about what he referred to as “the worst of the criminals, not a specific race or gender.. the worst of the worst.”
“Do you have a negative image of African Americans” his attorney asked.
“Absolutely not,” replied Wells.
He said the texts are not who he is.
“I enjoy helping people,” he said.
Wells said some of his texts were taken out of context and often he was quoting from the movie “Django Unchained” which deals with slavery.
“The word hurt means I would arrest them,” said Wells.
When pressed by the city attorney to admit what he said was wrong, Wells acknowledged police officers are held to a higher standard.
“I thought I was assured privacy in those conversations,” Wells said about the messages
The texts were turned over to the Fort Lauderdale police department by the ex-fiance of former officer Alex Alvarez who resigned in January 2015. Alvarez was accused of making a racially charged home video that depicted the Ku Klux Klan and African Americans being mistreated.
Just a day before, the man who fired him, Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley, testified in the case. He called the racism scandal the worst thing he had ever seen.
“It was a black eye on the City of Fort Lauderdale,” Adderley said.
Adderley said the messages damaged the trust with the community and the words made it impossible to prosecute some suspects.
Broward prosecutor Tim Donnelly told the arbitrator that his office had to drop 18 cases where Wells was the arresting officer.
Wells maintains he isn’t a racist and the text messages were private conversations made in jest with friends on the force.
The arbitrator isn’t expected to issue a ruling until the spring.