Sheriff Jody Greene of Columbus County in North Carolina is under investigation for obstruction of justice for his treatment of Black deputies. Yesterday (Sept. 28), a State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman announced the agency was trying to determine if Greene violated his duties as a law enforcement official.

Yesterday, local Wilmington news station WECT 6 shared transcripts of a phone call between the sheriff and then-Captain Jason Soles. One conversation happened in February 2019 and lasted around six minutes. While speaking privately with Soles, Greene was upset that his deputies may have been communicating with former Sheriff Lewis Hatcher. Green barely defeated Hatcher, an African-American, in a recent re-election.

Residents protested the results, citing that Greene didn’t live in Columbus County — which is required by state law. There were also claims he was sworn in before the election results were certified.

Green claimed a “snitch” in his department was feeding information to Hatcher, who took legal action for his title as sheriff to be temporarily reinstated. “I’m sick of it. I’m sick of these Black bastards. I’m going to clean house and be done with it. And we’ll start from there,” Green told Soles.

Soles told the news station he recorded Greene’s calls after the disgruntled official began making demeaning comments about Black people. “This one particular phone call that [I] received, he made the comment that he hated Democrats. And then he said, ‘I take that back. I hate a Black f**king Democrat.’ And, and I knew right then, I was like, ‘Wow, this is coming from the sheriff.’ And, I had to start recording those conversations,” Soles shared.

Another one of Greene’s gripes was that his chief deputy, Aaron Herring, was not selected to serve as interim sheriff while officials resolved the situation between him and Hatcher. Sources say Herring was passed over for the opportunity because of his less-than-stellar standing within Columbus County’s African-American community. While serving as a Whiteville police officer in 2015, Herring punched a handcuffed Black man in the face. The officer was arrested and charged for his actions, but later found not guilty.

Soles added that his decision to tape the conversations was largely because he didn’t feel Greene would be a fair sheriff. “It broke my heart. Because that’s not what I believe in. It upset me to the fact that I did have to start recording his phone calls. And I’m not wanting to go around recording people’s conversations. But … this was not the leader that we needed leading the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office making these racial slurs,” Soles said.