Jody Greene: Columbus County Sheriff resigns post after leaked tape with racist remarks surfaces

Jody Greene: Columbus County Sheriff resigns post after leaked tape with racist remarks surfaces
Former Sheriff Jody Greene (Columbus County Sheriff Office website)

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA: Jody Greene has resigned from his position as sheriff after a 2019 phone recording of him passing racist statements like “I’m sick of these Black bastards" got leaked. The resignation comes after an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation for obstruction of justice was launched last week.

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As stated by The Charlotte Observer, Greene was referring to Black deputies in the phone call, who he suspected of leaking information to the former sheriff, Lewis Hatcher, who is also Black. In 2018 election for county sheriff, Greene defeated Hatcher but the results were contested. Then-Captain Jason Soles recorded the call while elections officials investigated a complaint questioning whether Greene was eligible to serve as sheriff at that time. The NC Sheriff’s Association said via WTIN, “The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (the Association), representing all 100 sheriffs in our state, is aware of racially-charged comments allegedly made by Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene, that shock the conscience. The comments made on the recording are inflammatory, racially derogatory, insulting, and offensive.” 

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The leaked phone call

The audio, which was obtained by WECT, was of a call in which Greene can be heard saying, "They’re gone. This is as fair as I’m going to be. Just giving you a heads up, that’s coming. When me and [attorney] Boyd [Worley] and [wife] Angie [Greene] go through it tomorrow, the first numbers we see, they’re gone. They ain’t going to make it brother. I’m telling you, they might as well find somewhere else to go. Because if you ain’t with me - I ain’t referring to you - but if they’re not with me, they’re against me. And they’re gone. And that’s just how it’s going to be. Clarity - whatever her name is, I don’t trust her. Dawn says she’s racist... If I have to fire every mother f***er out there, guess what? I’m tired of them f***ing with me. It ain’t happening no more. No godd**n more. So you let them know, if I find their numbers in the next day or two, they ain’t going to like it. They damn sure ain’t going to like it. And that’s got to be somebody in the command staff." "Clarity. I don’t trust her. She’s just sitting there staring at me the other day, the whole time. Staring at me the whole f**ing time,” Greene continues, referring to Augustine Clarida, who at the time was an African-American detention officer.

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He further says, "Tomorrow’s gonna be a new f**king day. I’m still the motherf**king sheriff, and I’ll go up and fire every godd**n [inaudible]. F**k them Black bastards. They think I’m scared? They’re stupid,” Greene said. “I don’t know what else to do it. So it’s just time to clean them out." The day that the recording was reported, Greene released a statement defending himself and charging that “Soles was undermining other employees and spreading rumors.”

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Refused to take down Bible verse in office

This is not the first time Greene caught the public eye. The former sheriff in 2021 refused to remove a Bible verse from the walls of its office. In the hallway of the Columbus County Sheriff's Office, a large Bible verse read, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.”

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The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national non-profit group, said that this is a direct violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits any government agency from establishing an official religion and prohibits government actions that favor one religion over another. However, Greene responded by saying, "I am not scared of much, but I am afraid of burning in hell. Let me be clear, I will not waiver on my stance and Christian beliefs."

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