Fired Florida Police Officer Brings Black Girlfriend to Hearing to Prove He's Not a Racist
It's a well-known fact you cannot be a racist if you have sex with a racial minority.
At least that's the logic Jason Holding seemed to be counting on when he brought his black girlfriend to an arbitration hearing this week.
Holding, who is white, was fired from the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Police Department in March 2015 for exchanging racist text messages with three of his fellow officers.
He and another officer, James Wells, filed for arbitration — a form of private legal resolution where an independent third-party decides the outcome — to try to get their jobs back. Wells lost his arbitration case in May.
The texts sent among the four officers referred to black people as "niggers." They included a fake film trailer — edited, poorly, by one of the other officers on the force, Alex Alvarez — that called President Obama a "nigger," featured a doctored photo of the president wearing gold grills on his teeth and depicted black people being menaced by white men with guns and German shepherds. A hooded Ku Klux Klan member also makes an appearance. The fake film trailer was titled The Hoods.
Watch it here at your own peril:
Now, after all that, Holding is fighting for his old job back — and he's going to cringeworthy lengths to get it.
Holding showed up at an arbitration hearing Tuesday with a character witness he claimed proved he wasn't racist: his girlfriend, Perpetua Michel, who is black.
According to CBS Miami, Holding and Michel began dating about a year ago after the text scandal broke.
"There are people that make mistakes," Michel said in the hearing. "There are people that say things that they didn't mean."
"He's a cop, he shouldn't have said that word, correct," she conceded, after questioning.
Holding went on to claim he'd become desensitized to the word "nigger" because he'd patrolled black neighborhoods, where he allegedly heard black people say it all the time.
Holding hasn't gotten his job in Fort Lauderdale back, though he is still licensed to be a police officer.
None of the officers involved had their policing licenses revoked — though it's a safe bet most local black folks wouldn't be too happy to see them on the streets again.
"This is pure hatred and racism," Marsha Ellison, President of the NAACP in Broward County, Florida, told CBS News. "It is obviously morally repugnant, and we cannot have this in our community."