TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — 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. 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, 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.
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.
Camera footage also captured White using the word twice while arresting someone for trespassing on Nov. 30, police 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.