A lawsuit has exposed two Ohio cops making racially inflammatory remarks.
The federal lawsuit brought by Hocking County officials exposed audio of the two deputies making overtly racial remarks about cross burnings after Trayvon Martin’s slaying.
In recordings made by deputy Jeremy Dye, Hocking County sheriff’s deputies Patrick Allison and Edwin Downs are clearly heard making racial remarks, The Columbus Dispatch reports.
The 2013 comments were reportedly made in the context of the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin.
“We should make a little money,” Allison said in one recording. “They ought to pay us to burn crosses in neighborhoods. We could sell portable crosses, like have a wood cross with the base so you could just stand it in the yard instead of like having to dig a hole for it. It could have like firestarter chunks built into it.”
The officers were required to take a one hour class as punishment for the remarks.
The recordings were exposed as part of a lawsuit brought by Hocking County Coroner David Cummin against the sheriff, numerous deputies, and the town’s prosecutor, accusing them of malicious prosecution and intimidation.
“Of course, I don’t condone that at all, from them or anybody. We should be setting an example,” Sheriff Lanny North said.
North also insists that the deputies “did not violate the code of conduct.”
Allison had been with the Hocking County sheriff’s office 26 years before retiring in 2014, briefly returning, then retiring again after the recordings were made public. Downs has been with the department since 2008.