Dinwiddie County, Virginia, Sheriff D.T. “Duck” Adams is under fire for using the N-word twice while interrogating a suspect, Michael Edward Elmore, in September 2013 (video below).
Adams told the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which unearthed the 2-year-old video, that he used the racial slur after Elmore had used it, saying its use was part of an “interrogation technique.”
“I repeated what he said because any police officer knows that when you’re in an interrogation, you have to use their words in order to get on their level to get a confession,” Adams added.
During the interrogation, Elmore claims black people attacked the victim, Carter Bascon Northington, and then worries aloud that the "n------" will get him.
"We’re gonna protect you," Adams replies. "These n------ are not going to get to you. You’re not gonna be in no hot water with those n------. Tell me what happened, man.”
“Even though the suspect used it first, the sheriff used this word again and that’s a problem,” Kevin Carroll, president of the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“Anything that you say during an interrogation becomes inculpatory evidence introduced during prosecution," Carroll added. "You don’t want to lose a case because of that."
Elmore eventually confessed to another investigator to killing Northington and is currently serving a life sentence, reports NY Daily News.
“The Virginia Sheriffs’ Association is disappointed that one of its own members has chosen to display unprofessionalism during an interrogation,” John W. Jones, the executive director of the organization, said in a statement on Oct. 8.
“Absolutely no good came from the vulgarity; it is nothing but unacceptable under any circumstances, and certainly under circumstances of law enforcement and criminal justice," Dinwiddie Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill told the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Oct. 6. "Use of the N-word is the antithesis of justice.”
Adams, who is a Democrat, has put the blame on Dinwiddie Republicans for the controversy as he is up for re-election on Nov. 3, but local Republicans have denied the charge.
WARNING: Graphic language.