This Sheriff Resigned Again, But Is Change Really Coming For Black Residents?

columbus county courthouse
Zain Murdock
January 23, 2023

Two weeks after Sheriff Jody Greene resigned following his racist comments about Black deputies getting leaked, he won his reelection campaign in North Carolina. But several weeks later, it seems like Greene might not have much to celebrate after all.

District Attorney Jon David brought Greene to court for allegations in January, including racial discrimination, intimidation, abuse of authority, and a sexual relationship with one of his detectives. And right after the court hearing started, Greene announced his resignation again.

It isn’t uncommon for police to still have a career even after being caught being racist. Greene might not be so lucky. Whether or not he can be disqualified from ever running again is still up in the air, but it’s on the table. So, can we call this a victory?

According to various Black residents who filled the courtroom, good riddance. But trusting the county government, the Sheriff’s Office, and Greene’s impending replacement won’t be as easy to say. “It’s always been like this,” said one woman. “It’s not changing because of this.”

Let’s not get it twisted: individuals like Jody Greene have to be stripped of their power. But we must also remember not to fall prey to believing the criminal legal system only has “bad apples.” The end goal we deserve is to dismantle the entire system.

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