Arkansas County Sheriff Todd Wright resigns after audio recording revealed him going on racist tirade against mother of his children, Desiree Middlebrooks for speaking to a black grocery store employee.
An Arkansas sheriff has resigned after leaked audio revealed him going a racist tirade at the mother of his kids — calling her a ‘n—- lover’ for speaking to a black grocery store worker.
Sheriff Todd Wright of Arkansas County resigned from his post effective immediately on Friday after a five minute recording secretly made by his girlfriend Desiree Middlebrooks was shared widely to social media, in which Wright is heard using the N-word nine times.
The recording was apparently made months earlier when Wright reportedly became upset that Middlebrooks had spoken to the employee.
Wright called his partner a ‘n***** lover’, later adding in a rage ‘Why you got to holler at f***ing n*****s’ when I’m around?’
In a May 28 Facebook post, Wright acknowledged it was his voice in the recording, saying ‘To all I have offended or hurt I send my sincere apologies and will pray for my enemies.’
The black incarceration rate in Arkansas County, Ark is 168% of the white incarceration rate.
I wonder if it has anything to do with a man like this being in charge of the county’s law enforcement? https://t.co/qSG85xDxiq
— michaelharriot (@michaelharriot) August 29, 2020
‘If the head is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt.’
However, the digital apology was deemed insufficient and a special Quorum Court meeting was held Friday morning at the Arkansas County Courthouse to discuss Wright’s behavior and present a resolution requesting his resignation NBC News reported.
‘After viewing and hearing the video I was terribly upset to know that we have someone out here that’s supposed to be taking care of us, protecting and serving to have that kind of opinion of me – I’m using me as a race because of my color,’ Justice of the Peace Inez McLemore said.
Mclemore expressed concern she had for the inmates the Sheriff Department oversees because of the thoughts of their leader.
‘If you have a mental problem I think you should get help because the degrading words that you used rolled off of your tongue too well,’ said Mclemore. ‘If the head is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt.’
Of note, a regard of Sherff Todd’s Linkedn profile revealed him having a career in government service since 1987, and armed law enforcement specifically since 1994.
Throughout the several-hour hearing, broadcast on Facebook, public officials, community members, activists, and at least one colleague urged Wright to resign. The court didn’t have the outright authority to fire him.
In an address to the court, Wright blamed his behavior on the devil, insisting he isn’t a racist and was angry with Middlebrooks at the time because he had missed a funeral of his friend, who was black.
Racism endemic in Arkansas authority
He also mentioned many of his Black constituents with whom he claimed to have formed close bonds with.
‘I’m a Christian man. I read my bible every day,’ said Wright. ‘I am by no means a racist. That video does not show the true picture of me.’
However the crowd, including a woman who identified herself as the aunt of the black employee Wright’s racist vitriol was aimed at, didn’t believe him.
‘I don’t believe anything you just said,’ Betty Wofford said. ‘You have to say this stuff because you want to keep your job.’
Wright at first refused to resign, prompting half of the some 90 people in attendance to walk out from the courtroom. Several heckled him to ‘just get it over with’.
‘I’ve said things that I shouldn’t of said but as far as racism, I don’t condone it,’ Wright said in response.
It hurt don’t it Todd Wright/Arkansas County sheriff….big bitch pic.twitter.com/w2QAgWArKX
— Trick Daddy Jr. (@TonyReddTV) August 27, 2020
‘It is a f***ing big deal. People see me and then they see you talking to n*****s,’
He then said he would resign in a month, and finally did what the crowd requested and agreed to resign immediately after one of his former colleagues spoke.
‘Todd, I’ve known you all my life. You need to take that badge and [set] it on that table and walk out of here Todd,’ former officer Bobby Webb said. ‘You know I love you, but you screwed up. Lay that badge down, lay that gun down and walk out of here.’
Wright surrendered his badge and gun and embraced Webb.