The Wilmington Police Department in North Carolina has fired three officers after a video recording captured them engaging in a discussion about preparing for a “civil war” against Black people. 

According to The Charlotte Observer, police said a sergeant was reviewing department footage from one of the officer’s cars as part of a monthly video audit when she came across the offensive conversation. After the sergeant examined the conversation closer, police officials say she determined comments made by Cpl. Jessie Moore and officers Kevin Piner and Brian Gilmore were “extremely racist.” 

Gilmore and Piner are heard on the video chiding the department for its sensitivity toward the Black community. Almost 30 minutes after the officers began talking, Moore called Piner and engaged in further admonishing Black people, calling a Black woman a “negro,” among other things.  

Piner later told Moore that he thinks a civil war is looming and he has been preparing, The Observer reports. While Moore objected, Piner said he was going to buy an assault rifle, and “we are just going to go out and start slaughtering them (expletive) Blacks. I can’t wait. God, I can’t wait.”

Right before the final moments of the recording, Piner added that he felt a civil war was necessary to “wipe them off the (expletive) map. That’ll put them back about four or five generations.”

Police Chief Donny Williams released details of the accusations made against the officers at a press conference Wednesday. Williams said they violated standards of conduct, per The Observer. 

“When I first learned of these conversations, I was shocked, saddened and disgusted,” he said. “There is no place for this behavior in our agency or our city and it will not be tolerated.” 

The Hill obtained a detailed document containing a summary of the investigation, which Williams said “is the right thing to do.” 

“Why are we releasing this information this way and at this time? Because it is the right thing to do," he said. “Normally, personnel laws allow only a very small amount of information to be made public. However, in exceptional cases, when it is essential to maintain public confidence in the administration of the City and the Police Department, more information may be released."

Williams said he would not recommend the fired officers be rehired and will notify the North Carolina Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission about their hateful conduct. The terminated Wilmington officers’ cases also will be reviewed by the district attorney’s office for further investigation into their behavior, The Observer reports.

“This is the most exceptional and difficult case I have encountered in my career," Williams said. "We must establish new reforms for policing here at home and throughout this country."

All of the fired officers admitted to their voices being present in the recording, but in separate interviews, each of them denied being racist, The Hill reports.