Small-town Mississippi police chief fired after secret recording filled with racist language leaked to public

Published 6:15 am Sunday, July 24, 2022

A small town Mississippi police chief was fired last week after a secret recording of him using racist and homophobic language while bragging about shooting and killing people in the line of duty was made public.

Former Lexington Police Department Chief Sam Dobbins was fired Wednesday after the city’s board of aldermen voted to oust him in an executive session that lasted more than an hour.

According to Census data, Lexington is a town that is more than 85% Black. Dobbins is white.

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The board voted 3-2 to oust Dobbins after former officer, Robert Lee Hooker, leaked the recording of a conversation her had with Dobbins in April. Hooker gave the recording to a civil rights and international human rights organization called JULIAN.

The Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting first reported about the recording last week.

In the 16-minute audio, Dobbins can be heard bragging he shot and killed 13 people in the line of duty, including a Black man who he says he shot 119 times.

When MCIR contacted Dobbins before he was fired, Dobbins said he was unaware of the recording.

Asked whether he killed 13 people in the line of duty, he replied, “That’s something we don’t discuss, period.”

He also denied using slurs. “I don’t talk like that,” he said.

Investigator Charles Henderson has been named interim chief.