Students and staff members at Middleton High School in Tampa, Florida, rallied Monday in support of a school resource officer who was fired in early March for using a racial slur.
Delvin White, a 41-year old black man, had worked as a Tampa police officer for 8 years before his firing on March 5, according to Bay News 9. He was fired for using the n-word on two different occasions, both of which were caught on his body camera.
White can be heard saying the n-word while driving away from campus after a varsity football game in a footage from Nov. 13, The Tampa Bay Times reported. The officer also used the slur toward a 16-year old suspended student of the high school while arresting him for refusing to leave the school premises, a video showed. “You goin’ to jail now, n*gga,” White can be heard saying as he escorts the agitated teen to a patrol car. (RELATED: Obama Says He Punched A Friend In The Face, Broke His Nose For Using A Racial Slur)
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“The fact that he’s a black, African American officer using the n-word is an interesting dynamic. So we have a person in a position of authority, a law enforcement officer talking to a 16-year-old student, that’s not appropriate in my opinion,” Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said, according to WFLA News 8 .
Tampa’s police union members said March 4 the termination was too harsh a punishment in White’s case. A number of Middleton students and staff members wore white Monday to express their support for the officer.
“We’re not condoning what I did, but we don’t think I should have gotten terminated,” White told The Tampa Bay Times. “I’m amazed by the support I’ve received and really want my job back so I can continue my work in the community.”