Five Black residents are suing the city of Lexington, Mississippi and its police department after police chief Sam Dobbins was fired for bragging about shooting and killing people in a racist and homophobic rant, reports USA Today.
The federal lawsuit is requesting a restraining order against the police department “to prevent officers from infringing upon citizens' constitutional rights.” Also, the suit claims the department has a long track record of using excessive force and making false arrests.
The lawsuit, which was filed by civil-rights law firm JULIAN, seeks to stop law enforcement in Lexington from “threatening, coercing, harassing, assaulting or interfering with” its Black residents.
Dobbins was fired by the city's Board of Aldermen from his position as police chief after bragging in a conversation with a former officer about shooting a Black man more than 100 times on a recording last month.
“You’re going to get in some sh*t in the streets, and there’s only going to be one man fighting for you, and it’s going to be me, OK? Don’t ever ruin that, all right, because these other n***ers, they’ll leave you dry. I don’t give a f**k if you kill a m*therf**ker in cold blood… I will articulate to fix the f**king problem, and I’m the only man in the business here that’s smart enough to do it,” says Dobbins as heard in the recording.
In the clip, Dobbins also bragged about killing people throughout his career.
“I have shot and killed, in the line of duty, 13 different people,” Dobbins said
The former police chief also used homophobic language to describe gay people.
Jill Collen Jefferson, president and founder of JULIAN intends to fight against the corruption in the Lexington Police Department.
"We're bringing this suit because we've got to protect the Black citizens of Lexington," she said. "Their rights are being routinely violated. They're being intimidated, they're being harassed, they're being targeted, over and over and over again. And it has not stopped with the firing of that police chief."
According to a press release, JULIAN is also calling for a federal investigation into "systemic, condoned racism in both the police department and in Lexington’s municipal government as a whole.”