A deputy sheriff in McIntosh, GA was fired and another resigned after they were caught exchanging racist messages about black citizens and joking about a domestic violence attack against a woman deputy, said the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.
Deputies Brant Gaither and Jeremy Owens -- who are both white -- were assigned to the I-95 special traffic unit that patrols their region of southern Georgia. While on duty, the deputies would exchange messages via Facebook Messenger on their department-issued laptops.
The messages -- which were often crude and peppered with racist and sexist themes -- were discovered when Gaither's laptop was reissued to another officer, said Sheriff Stephen D. Jessup.
Sheriff Jessup said when he saw the messages they made him "want to throw up." He fired Gaither on July 25. Owens resigned from his job.
In one exchange, Gaither posted a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the caption, "I have a dream. That one day my people will not act like animals."
"Lol. That’ll never happen," Owens responded.
In another exchange, Owens wrote, “It’s supposed to rain tomorrow. Might not get too many ni**s.”
“I hope we get a few but (expletive) if we don’t,” replied Gaither.
Other posts included jokes about violence against women, black women taking pregnancy tests and the racist stereotype that all black people eat fried chicken.
The Southern Center for Human Rights is investigating the matter and has dispatched an attorney to coastal McIntosh County -- which is around 1/3 black and has a long history of racist atrocities.
The Journal-Constitution recounted that until the mid-1970s, McIntosh County was "bypassed" by the civil rights movement and ruled over by a tyrannical white sheriff.