Arkansas sheriff says he only uses the N-word 'occasionally' as he denies racism allegations

An Arkansas county sheriff says there was nothing wrong with comments he made regarding Black people in response to a shooting, KARK 4 News reports.

Now, the Democratic Party of Arkansas and others are calling on Prairie County Sheriff Rick Hickman to resign.

Hickman made the comments while speaking to a dispatcher who was relaying the details surrounding a triple shooting left three people dead.

“The house next to the apartments,” the dispatcher told Hickman.

The sheriff replied, “Oh, really. Black people then.”

Larry Hicks, the NAACP's chairman of the Little Rock Legal Redress Committee, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that Hickman's comments were problematic.

"It clearly was a situation where the sheriff indicated that since they were just Black people he did not seem to have any remorse whatsoever or for that matter created any sense of urgency in the overall response to it," Hicks explained. "As to whether or not that is definitively something that is racially insensitive, I would say yes, but I would equate it more to him not displaying any form of empathy in regards to it. And also making the assumption that since they were Black people, there was no required immediacy in terms of their response. Though he did not say that literally from what I heard in the recording, that was clearly the inference."

Hickman, who is running for re-election, said the call is being used against him for political reasons.

“I said where. Was it the blacks in the apartments? Cause those apartments are all blacks where it happened,” Hickman told KARK 4 News, adding, “Nothing racial about it.”

When asked if he’s used racial slurs in the past, Hickman replied, “Probably, in the past, but you know it is what it is. Everybody does."

“I don’t use the N-word a lot but occasionally, I might have said it," he added.

CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper called for Hickman to resign in light of his comments about the N-word: “Someone who admits to using racist slurs is clearly unfit to protect and serve a diverse population. We urge Sheriff Hickman to resign and instead pursue a career that does not impact the lives of minority communities.”

Watch a report on the story below:

Prairie Co. Sheriff says he said nothing wrong about 'black people'

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