Hillsborough County Public Schools
middleton high tampa

Tampa, Fla., resource officer fired after using racial slur at high school

March 3, 2021
The officer, who is Black, was recorded using the n-word in November while making an arrest at Middleton High School.

The school resource officer at a Tampa, Fla., high school has been fired after his body-worn camera captured him using the n-word multiple times,

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Officer Delvin White, who had been assigned to Middleton High School in the Hillsborough County district, was fired for “violations of policy that prohibit discriminatory conduct." He was an eight-year veteran of the department.

A new release from the city said White used the racial slur while on the phone and directly to a person while he was arresting them Nov. 30.

The officer is Black, Tampa police spokesman Eddy Durkin said. Nearly half the students attending Middleton are Black.

When confronted about his actions, White told his superior that he did not mean for the word to be derogatory. Instead, he said that he was using the word as it is “commonly used in today’s society as a means of shared culture and experiences among the African American community."

White’s actions during the November phone call came to light after a random audit of body-worn camera footage, police said.

On Nov. 30, camera footage showed White used the word twice while arresting a suspect for trespassing.

“Derogatory statements made by police officers jeopardize the trust that our department works to establish with our community,” Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said. “Tampa Police officers are held to a higher standard and incidents like this negatively impact the entire law enforcement profession.”

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