A white Alabama cop was caught on a secret recording plotting to kill a black man and cover it up, it was revealed Tuesday.
According to the Guardian, the 2013 incident involving the white Alabama cop, identified as Alexander City Officer Troy Middlebrooks, was settled out of court. The cop was reinstated in his job, where he remains today.
According to legal documents and interviews with lawyers and officials involved in the case, the recording captures the threats of the apparently racist cop during a visit to a home where the suspect, Vincent Bias, 49, was reportedly located.
The residence is reportedly the home of Bias’ relatives.
At one point in the recording, the Alabama cop pulls Bias’ white brother-in-law aside to tell him he doesn’t trust Bias.
— Matt Sullivan (@sullduggery) August 4, 2015
According to NBC News, Troy Middlebrooks was frustrated with Bias’ case. He had arrested Bias on drug charges weeks earlier and was angry that the suspect was released after posting bail.
In the recording, Middlebrooks tells Bias’ brother-in-law that if he were the suspect’s relative, he would “f***ing kill that motherf*****” and then arrange the crime scene to “make it look like he was trying to f***ing kill me.”
“And before the police got here, I’d f***ing put marks all over my sh** and make it look like he was trying to f***ing kill me. I g** d*** guarantee you. What would it look like? Self f***ing defence. F*** that piece of sh**. I’m a lot different from a lot of these other folks. I’ll f***ing tell you what’s on my f***ing mind.”
The white Alabama cop also is heard using the N-word in referring to Bias.
Bias sued the city for $600,000 a month after the incident, and the case was settled for $35,000 by the city’s insurance company, according to Alexander City Attorney Larkin Radney.
Police Chief Willie Robinson, who is black, said the white Alabama cop was disciplined, but would not provide details. He did however, defend Middlebrooks, saying, “He was just talking. He didn’t really mean that.”
Robinson also said he disagreed with the city’s decision to settle.
“It’s a whole lot different if you hear both sides. He wasn’t saying that he was going to do that. He was talking about the man doing it himself.”
Since then, the recording was obtained by the Guardian and NBC News and Bias’ lawyer, Eric Hutchins, has called for a state and federal investigation.
Bias said he took the settlement money to move from Alexander City, where he alleges he was unfairly targeted by police, possibly because of his race.
“This town is ridiculous. The police here feel they can do what they want, and often they do.”
Bias served 14 months in county jail after pleading guilty to the drug charges and was released in June.
Bias alleges that police added to the drug charges against him after the recording surfaced and felt he had no other choice but to plead guilty.
The recording was posted to Soundcloud, but it contains vulgar language of the white Alabama cop threatening Bias.
[Photograph: Alabama State Bureau of Investigation]