A white officer in Alexander City, Alabama, kept his job after ranting to a black suspect’s white brother-in-law that the suspect could be killed in a manner that suggsted self-defense, the Guardian reports. The officer, Troy Middlebrooks, was at the brother-in-law’s home investigating an unleashed dog that Middlebrooks believed black resident Vincent Bias was responsible for. While the brother-in-law was (apparently unbeknownst to Middlebrooks) recording the conversation, the officer then seemed to assert that Bias was intimidating the brother-in-law and other family members—and outlined a potential solution to that problem:
Between me and you … if he ever hit me or threatened my life, I would fucking kill that motherfucker with whatever I had in that fucking house. And before the police got here, I’d fucking put marks all over my shit and make it look like he was trying to fucking kill me. I god damn guarantee you. What would it look like? Self fucking defence. Fuck that piece of shit.
Bias played the recording for the city’s police chief and mayor; officials then paid him $35,000 to pre-emptively settle a lawsuit he was prepared to file. (The suit also contends that Middlebrooks referred to Bias as a “nigger” during a part of the incident that wasn’t caught on tape.) Police Chief Willie Robinson says Middlebrooks was “disciplined,” but wouldn’t say how, and he remains on the job:
Robinson tried to stress that Middlebrooks was in fact proposing that the brother-in-law carry out the killing. “He wasn’t saying that he was going to do that,” said the police chief. “He was talking about the man doing it himself.”