Fired North Carolina officer says racist comments were religious speech

Officer James 'Brian' Gilmore said that he only said the had a problem with whites 'worshiping Blacks,' calling it idolatry

Police Wilmington Car
Police Wilmington Car (Screenshot from the CBS video)

One of the three North Carolina police officers fired last month for taking part in a racist conversation about starting a modern-day Civil War, has filed an appeal claiming his comments were protected religious speech.

Wilmington Police officer James “Brian” Gilmore maintains that he believes that the civil unrest in America is pushing whites to “worship” Blacks and that his faith is against that.

READ MORE: NC officers fired for comments about wiping Black people ‘off the map’

According to the Daily Beast, Gilmore had a major problem with a video he had seen with white people “worshipping Blacks.”

“How many times have I told you it’s almost like they think they’re their own god?” Gilmore says before mentioning that a “fine-looking white girl and this punk little pretty boy [were] bowing down and kissing their toes.”

He considered this idolatry, according to his appeal,.

The three officers were dismissed from their duties with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NC DPS) after recordings of them engaging in racist conversations were discovered and released to the public. The camera in Officer Michael “Kevin” Piner’s squad car captured hours of violent and discriminatory discussion.

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A demonstrator approaches the police during protests. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

According to partial records released by the city, Gilmore and the other officers discussed their distaste toward the #BlackLivesMatter movement and their dissatisfaction with the performances of several Black officers whom they previously served beside.

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“Let’s see how his boys take care of him when shit gets rough, see if they don’t put a bullet in his head,” Piner is heard saying about a Black colleague.

Among these recorded conversations the officers discussed the killing of Black Americans in a second Civil War. Gilmore, however, was not on heard on this particular recording.

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