Police chief fired after audio leaked of him bragging about killing spreeJuly 25, 2022
Later in the recording, Dobbins added:
“I don’t talk to f—ing queers, I don’t talk to f—ing f——.”
Dobbins told the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting that he was not aware of the recording. “That’s something we don’t discuss, period,” he said, also denying using the homophobic slur. “I don’t talk like that,” Dobbins told the center for investigative reporting.
Hooker told WLBT he was hired to work with the force earlier this year and resigned after a few days on the job, frustrated with Dobbins. Hooker said he decided to again work for the chief to bring much-needed accountability to the policing culture one Lexington resident described as “the Wild, Wild West.”
“I just got to the point where you’re not doing the people right,” Hooker told the news station, “you’re not doing right, so therefore let me expose you for what you are, who you are. And that’s how it happened.”
The board of aldermen in the town voted 3-2 on Wednesday to fire Dobbins effective immediately, The Washington Post reported. Cardell Wright, president of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and a paralegal for the human rights organization JULIAN, told the newspaper he was “appalled and angry” when he heard the recording. “Just to see the hatred in your own backyard was disturbing,” Wright said. “We knew we had to do something immediately.”
Jill Collen Jefferson, the founder and president of JULIAN, said in a statement The Washington Post obtained that “the corruption we’re seeing here is on a scale I haven’t seen since the civil rights movement.”
“This audio is damning,” Jefferson said. “It’s not just a reflection of one officer. It’s a reflection of an entire culture of policing, and it should spur Congress to finally rein in this modern-day slave patrol. A culture like this does not deserve immunity.”
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump later shared video of the recording on Twitter. “Due to the actions of a whistleblower, Dobbins has rightfully been fired,” Crump said in one tweet, “but STILL, the culture of policing that allows his disgusting prejudice and actions to be overlooked needs to be reformed!”
Crump, who has represented the families of those killed in several highly-publicized excessive force cases, won the George Floyd family a record $27 million settlement with the city of Minneapolis, where a former cop kneeled on the Black father’s neck for more than nine minutes, killing him on May 25, 2020. Since then, Crump has campaigned publicly for federal police reform legislation.
With the failure of Congress to pass such legislation, the closest the White House has been able to deliver is an executive order to create a national database of police misconduct, strengthen pattern or practice investigations, and ban chokeholds for federal agencies.
Crump said in a statement about the executive order with other civil rights attorneys that they are appreciative of the president’s efforts. “While this action does not have the long-term impact that we had hoped for with passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, it does represent incremental progress,” Crump said, “and we need to commit ourselves to making progress every day because the safety of our children is worth the fight.”