Prairie County Sheriff Rick Hickman is claiming that he is not racist. In fact, he says his comment was not out of bounds after a recorded phone call caught him responding to news of a triple shooting and his negative comments about Black people who live in the area, according to KARK-TV.
He’s not the first sheriff or police officer recently accused of saying something racist or out of turn, but I digress. Back to the story.
The county communication center called Sheriff Hickman after a shooting that left three people dead. In the call, which lasted 90 seconds, the dispatcher can be heard saying detailing where the shooting occurred.
Well I can show you better than I can tell you. Here’s from KARK-TV on the recorded phone call:
“The house next to the apartments at Dollar General,” the dispatcher told Hickman.
The sheriff replied, “Oh, really. Black people then. That’s what it is.”
Jimel Brown has lived in Des Arc all his life and said the sheriff’s comments are concerning.
“It doesn’t sit right with me,” Brown said. “That’s not somebody you would want representing your town, protecting the people, serving the people.”
Here’s the thing. The victims and the suspect in the shooting were white and it happened at a house.
Sheriff Hickman, whose been the Prairie County sheriff for six years, claims that the recorded phone call is being used against him for political reasons, since he is running for re-election, according to KARK-TV.
In an interview with the local station, he said, “I said where. Was it the blacks in the apartments? Cause those apartments are all blacks where it happened.”
He continued, “No, cause those blacks live over there — that’s why I asked. Nothing racial about it.”
When asked by KARK-TV if he used racial slurs before, he said,“Probably, in the past, but you know it is what it is. Everybody does. I don’t use the N-word a lot but occasionally, I might have said it.”
Ok, I will give him this. Atleast, he answered the questions truthfully. Right? And yet, Hickman is still claiming that he is not a racist, according to KARK-TV.