White Georgia sheriff's deputy is fired over racist Facebook posts using N-word, mocking MLK Jr and targeting black motorists
- McIntosh County Sheriff's Deputy Brant Gaither was terminated in July after an internal affairs probe
- Investigation revealed that Gaither had been swapping racist and sexist jokes on Facebook with Darien, Georgia, police officer Jeremy Owens
- Owens had served with Gaither in the traffic unit of sheriff's department until last December, when he took the job in Darien
- Owens resigned his post with Darien PD a day after Gaither was fired
- Records show Gaither and Owens, who are both white, traded racially charged jokes on Facebook messenger
- One post read: 'It's supposed to rain tomorrow. Might not get too many n***s'
- When Gaither learned of his firing, he reportedly said: 'It was just a joke, we all do it'
Ousted: McIntosh County Sheriff's Deputy Brant Gaither (pictured) was terminated in July for swapping racist jokes with another Georgia law enforcement officer
A sheriff's deputy in Georgia was fired over the summer and another local police officer quit his post after the two were caught swapping racist and misogynistic jokes on Facebook, and allegedly making plans to pull over black drivers.
McIntosh County sheriff's Deputy Brant Gaither was terminated in late July at the conclusion of an internal affairs investigation into his online conversations with another former deputy, Jeremy Owens.
The two men, who are both white, had served together until December 2015 on the department's special traffic unit in charge of patrolling Interstate 95.
Owens later left the sheriff's office and was hired by the Darien Police Department. A day after Gaither was fired for his conduct, Owens resigned from his post in Darien.
According to records documenting the internal investigation, which were first obtained by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Gaither and Owens, who were Facebook friends, exchanged racially charged jokes on Facebook's instant messaging service, which included the use of the term 'colored people' and the ‘N-word.’
Facebook friends: Gaither (left) and his former colleague, Darien Police Officer Jeremy Owens (right), reportedly used Facebook messenger to trade racially charged comments and make sexist jokes
In one exchange, according to the cited records, Gaither sent his friend a meme featuring civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr and a caption that read: 'I have a dream. That one day my people will not act like animals.'
Owens reportedly responded by saying: 'Lol. That'll never happen.'
In another Facebook conversation, the pair discussed an apparent plan to stop black motorists while patrolling the highway.
'It's supposed to rain tomorrow,' Owens reportedly said in a message to his then-colleague Gaither. 'Might not get too many n***s.'
To which Gaither replied: 'I hope we get a few but [expletive] if we don't.'
The two friends also reportedly made light of domestic violence against women, and at one point swapped a joke about fried chicken.
The racially charged online exchanges between Owens and Gaither came to light in July after another deputy was issued Owens' old computer, which contained access to his Facebook account, according to McIntosh County Sheriff Stephen Jessup.
Toxic rhetoric: In one exchange, Gaither reportedly sent a meme featuring Martin Luther King Jr and a caption that read: 'I have a dream. That one day my people will not act like animals'
Vile slur: In another exchange, Owens reportedly told his friend: 'It's supposed to rain tomorrow. Might not get too many n***s'
Jessup said when he became aware of the posts, it made him 'want to throw up.'
'I do not tolerate that in my department,' Jessup told the newspaper.
Gaither, who had sat through a two-hour diversity training session along with Owens in October 2015, was let go for violating the department's polices concerning immoral conduct and behavior unbecoming a deputy.
Disgusted: Gaither's boss, McIntosh County Sheriff Stephen Jessup (pictured) said when he learned of the racist jokes, it made him 'want to throw up'
When the deputy learned his fate, he reportedly acknowledged that he made a 'stupid mistake' but said: 'It was just a joke, we all do it.'
Upon learning of the circumstances of Brent Gaither's firing, the Southern Center for Human Rights sent a lawyer to McIntosh County to look into the sheriff's department's practices, fearing that the racist quips traded between the two deputies were just 'the tip of the iceberg,' attorney Sarah Geraghty told the paper.
The non-profit law firm plans to formally ask the US Department of Justice to launch its own investigation into the sheriff’s department.
According to information available on social media, Brent Gaither is a married father-of-two. Both he and his wife are retired US Marines who own a gun store in Darien.
Jeremy Owens is also married with a young son. He now operates a pressure washing business.
Father figures: Gaither (left) is a married father of two who co-owns a gun store with his wife. Owens (right) is also married with a child and operates a cleaning business
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