A police officer in Alexander City, Al., proposed murdering a black resident and creating bogus evidence to suggest the killing was self-defense, reports the Guardian. Officer Troy Middlebrooks, 33, kept his job and continues to patrol the central Alabama city of 15,000 after authorities there paid the man $35,000 to avoid being publicly sued over the incident. Middlebrooks, a veteran of the US Marines, said the man “needs a god damn bullet” and allegedly referred to him by a racial slur after becoming frustrated that the man was not punished more harshly over a prior run-in.
The payment was made to the black resident, Vincent Bias, after a secret recording of Middlebrooks' remarks was played to the city's police chief and mayor. A copy of the recording was obtained by the Guardian. Alexander City Police Chief Willie Robinson defended Middlebrooks. “He was just talking. He didn't really mean that,” he said in an interview. “This town is ridiculous,” said Bias, 49. “The police here feel they can do what they want, and often they do.”