Recently released police body camera video shows a South Carolina county coroner joking about race and using racial slurs after he pulled a gun on a Black neighbor.
In August, Dorchester County Coroner Chris Nisbet had pulled a gun on Leroy Fulton, who was reportedly trying to stop a repo man from taking his truck. Nisbet had claimed that he saw Fulton pointing an object at the repo man.
When Summerville police arrived, Nisbet initially refused to put down his weapon. Eventually the coroner became so hostile that a Black officer temporarily placed him in handcuffs.
Local activists called for Nisbet to step down after he was heard calling Fulton the N-word in the background of a 911 placed by the repo man.
Summerville police body cam video obtained this week by The Post and Courier shows Nisbet referring to Black people as “homeboy” and “homeslice” during the Aug. 25 incident.
“You know I always got y’alls back,” Nisbet says despite being in handcuffs. “You don’t worry about that. I always got y’alls back. You do what you got to do. If someone pulls a gun on you, you (expletive) shoot the (expletive) out of them.”
While telling his side of the story to officers, Nisbet refers to a controversial ruling he had made in the death of Shamir Palmer. The coroner had ruled the shooting a “suicide by cop” even though all fatal shootings, including cases of self defense, are considered homicides.
Nisbet later came under fire after he called Palmer a “thug” in a Facebook post.
In the body cam video released this week, Nesbit promises to “look out for my boys in blue.”
“Homeslice pulled the gun out on him. He pulled the gun out right in the repo man’s face and I was like, ‘Oh hell, no.’ Because I don’t put up with that bullshit,” Nisbet explains. “The last guy who pulled a gun out on a cop – you know I ruled that shit suicide-by-cop – because if you pull a gun out on me I’m going to shoot your ass.”
“You pull a gun on somebody I’m going to pull a gun on you, too,” he continues. “But I’m the poor little white man in cuffs. That’s some racist shit — I’m just messing with you.”
Nesbit turns to someone else and complains about the Black officer: “Some skinny little Black guy has got me in handcuffs. They’ve got me in handcuffs because I stopped the guy who pulled the gun on the repo man.”
Officers decided against arresting anyone that night, but Nesbit was later charged with misconduct in office.
South Carolina National Action Network President James Johnson called on Nesbit to step aside until the investigation was completed.
“Black folks use that kind of language he was using,” Johnson told The Post and Courier. “I think it has a racial overtone, especially for a man in his position. … I really think he needs to be out of office until the trial is over.”