Officer Troy Middlebrooks of the Alexander City Police Department was secretly recorded talking to the white brother-in-law of Vincent Bias, who is black. The officer is heard in the recording, which was obtained by the Guardian, stating that Bias “needs a god damn bullet” and was frustrated and tired of “that n*gger” being released from jail.
“I would f*cking kill that motherf*cker with whatever I had in that f*cking house, and before the police got here I would f*cking put marks all over my sh*t and make it look like he was f*cking trying to kill me,” Middlebrooks tells Bias’ brother-in-law on the recording.
“What would it look like? Self f*cking defence. F*ck that piece of shit. I’m a lot different from a lot of these other folks. I’ll f*cking tell you what’s on my f*cking mind.”
The officer also prodded the brother-in-law, mocking him for not doing something about Bias.
“And you f*cking know exactly what I’m talking about. The way he f*cking talks to you? Like you’re a f*cking child? Like he’s your… Are you his b*tch or something? He talks to you like that.”
Middlebrooks also allegedly said “the police were going to pull [Bias] aside on a routine traffic stop and [Bias] would get killed,” the Guardian reported.
After the recording was played to the city’s police chiefs and the mayor, the department paid out a $35,000 settlement to Bias to keep the situation quiet and out of court.
When asked by the Guardian whether Middlebrooks was ever suspended for his comments, Chief Willie Robinson only said that he was “disciplined,” but would not expand on how.
“He wasn’t saying that he was going to do that,” Robinson said. “He was talking about the [brother-in-law] doing it himself.”
The city council was reportedly uninformed about the decision to buy Bias’ silence on the incident and allow the officer to remain on the force.
“This is absolutely unbelievable, thirty-five thousand dollars is a lot of money and our city council is being left out of deliberation,” Council member Tony Goss told the Guardian. “If an officer is recorded saying something like that, there are potential grounds for termination.”
Emerson Crayton Jr, 21, was shot after the officer claims he attempted to use his vehicle as a weapon. Attorneys for Crayton’s family have filed a lawsuit against Maness and the department, and included in their filing the Bias lawsuit that the city paid to settle, to show an alleged pattern of wrongdoing by the city, the Guardian reported.