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North Carolina sheriff probed after comments surface condemning Black staff

A North Carolina sheriff was recorded calling Black employees by derogatory names and saying they should be fired, a television station reported. Several Black officers in leadership positions were later demoted or fired.

Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene issued a statement arguing that the recording of the February 2019 phone call obtained by WECT-TV had been edited or altered. But he didn’t deny in the statement that he was on the call or that he made the statements.

The recorded comments were condemned by the North Carolina NAACP, which demanded Greene’s resignation.

“His language is divisive, nasty, and offensive — his words are disparaging and hurtful to people of color. His actions have cast a cloud over his ability to execute the office with impartiality,” the NAACP said in a statement.

The local district attorney said Thursday that he asked the State Bureau of Investigation to probe allegations of obstruction of justice within the sheriff’s office but declined to elaborate.