A Kentucky law enforcement official is under fire this week after footage of his deeply racist comments was made public on Tuesday. In September, Southeast Bullitt Fire Chief Julius Hartfield was recorded on a Bullitt County Sheriff deputy’s body camera during a response to a traffic accident, when Hartfield allegedly refused to help a black family while referring to them in derogatory, racist terms.“Well, I’ve got a family of four from Cincinnati, I got to do something with,” the Bullitt County deputy says in the footage, which was obtained by WDRB.
“We ain’t taking no n–gers here,” Hartfield responded, laughing.
The footage also reveals the fire chief helping the other man involved in the traffic incident, Loren Dicken, who is white. According to WDRB, after Hartfield went out of his way to assist Dicken with a tire issue, the chief also had his firefighters pick the man up from the hospital when he was released.
But Hartfield was reportedly less than helpful for the other driver involved in the accident, Chege Mwangi, who is black. Mwangi told WDRB reporter Valerie Chinn that Hartfield suggested he, his wife and two children contact Triple A for assistance, before asking for registration and proof of insurance. When Chinn, who is Asian-American, contacted Hartfield to ask about the alleged disparities in his treatment of the two families as well as possible mismanagement of his department, the fire chief offered a startling (also racist) response.
“Do you understand English darling?” Hatfield said. “Do you understand English?”
Chinn reports that Hartfield later apologized for repeatedly asking her if she speaks English, and claimed that he did not remember using the N-word to describe the Mwangi family.
Chief Hartfield’s heartless act is a possible refutation of an adage propounded by a friend of mine who’s a retired police Captain: “If you want to be a hero, be a fire fighter.”
The one good thing about this appalling episode is that it illustrates once again the utility of the dashboard camera. Hartfield may claim he didn’t remember dropping the N-bomb but the proof is in the video pudding so to speak.
It is, of course, not a shocker that Hartfield is an equal opportunity bigot: he slurred the intrepid Asian-American reporter by implying she didn’t speak English. Temper, temper Chief Hartless.
The next time someone tells you that bigotry is in the rear view mirror, direct them to the curious case of the border state bigot. And that is why Chief Orange Julius Hartfield *could* have been malaka of the week. There’s always a surfeit of “qualified” candidates.