Arkansas Sheriff Resigns After He's Caught On Tape In Racist Tirade

Mary Papenfuss
·2 min read

An Arkansas sheriff has resigned after he was caught on tape yelling racist slurs at a Black man working in a local market.

Despite the shocking tape, now-former Arkansas County Sheriff Todd Wright insisted to local legislators that he’s not racist.

He resigned Friday effective immediately during a meeting of the local court that serves as a governing council in the county, located just over an hour southeast of Little Rock.

The special meeting was called after Wright was finally identified by the local newspaper as the voice on a recording of the rant widely posted on social media earlier this year.

Wright erupted with a string of some nine racist slurs when a woman he was with spoke to a Black man in a local grocery store, reported The Pine Bluff Commercial newspaper.

Wright apologized at the local meeting “to everyone.” (Check out the video of the meeting above at 15:10.) He said he made the slurs in the heat of the moment when he was “upset over certain things.”

“That’s not [really] me,” he claimed. “People who know me, know that’s not me. I was angry.”

The county Wright worked for is 25% Black, according to Census Bureau data.

After the incident, which occurred earlier this year, Wright said on his Facebook page: “To all I have offended or hurt I send my sincere apologies and will pray for my enemies.” He did not, however, detail what had happened.

The mother of the man Wright yelled at upbraided him for calling her son, a “hardworking” man with two jobs, “names like that” over and over.

County Judge Thomas Best said the court’s members decided Thursday to ask for Wright’s resignation after he was identified by the newspaper.

“It saddens me that anyone would disrespect God’s creation in this manner,” Best said. “No way will I condone this action from anyone.”

Wright will be paid through the end of September.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.