In 2018, white Republican Jody Greene ran for sheriff against Black Democrat incumbent Lewis Hatcher. Greene won by 34 votes, amidst reports of election fraud. But in 2022, leaked audio surfaced of the North Carolina sheriff making disgustingly anti-Black comments in a conversation with a police captain.
So, his career was over, right?
Nah. Getting caught saying, “Every Black that I know, you need to fire him to start with, he’s a snake!” wasn’t enough. Naming Hatcher himself wasn’t enough. Reports of intimidation, abuse, and a sexual relationship with one of his deputies weren’t enough.
Is there a level of behavior heinous enough to spark justice in the system?
While everything seemingly crashed down around him, Greene resigned. But two weeks later, he won the sheriff’s seat again in the 2022 election against the very police captain who leaked the racist audio.
The timing is horrendous, but is it truly that surprising? Time and time again, when cops resign or even get fired, they get rehired by another agency. Greene just happened to stay in his own area code.
Maybe in another world, openly anti-Black cops and the civilians who vote for them would want to hold themselves accountable. But in this world, racism runs rampant throughout policing and individual “fixes” cannot produce the justice we crave. Justice means abolishing the entire system.