Cop Threatens To Kill A Black Man & Make It Look Like Self-Defense

Photo: Alabama state bureau of investigation
With recordings like these, it makes it harder than ever for Black communities to put faith in the boys in blue.

The Alexander City, AL, Police Department is under fire after one of its own, Officer Troy Middlebrooks, was secretly recorded while seemingly threatening the life of Vincent Bias, 49. Middlebrooks arrested Bias on drug charges earlier in 2015, and reportedly made the statements during a visit to the home of Bias' brother-in-law, who is white.

Middlebrooks, 33, a former U.S. Marine and father of two, allegedly suggested to the brother-in-law that Bias would be "pulled aside on a routine traffic stop and would get killed," according to statements obtained by The Guardian. The brother-in-law retreated into the house to get a voice recorder before returning to the conversation with Middlebrooks.

The recording is inarguably damning. Middlebrooks insinuates that Bias may be terrorizing his relatives, in which case he wouldn't blame them for fighting back, saying that, in their shoes, he would "fucking kill that motherfucker with whatever I had in that fucking house."

The officer went on to say that he'd cover up the murder and make it look like Bias' fault. “What would it look like? Self-fucking-defense," he said. "Fuck that piece of shit. I’m a lot different from a lot of these other folks. I’ll fucking tell you what’s on my fucking mind," he added. Middlebrooks also said that Bias was in need of a "goddamn bullet."

Ultimately, the recording made its way to Alexander City police chiefs, along with the mayor. Although Police Chief Willie Robinson told The Guardian that Middlebrooks was disciplined, he was not removed from his job. Outreach to the Alexander City Police Department had not been returned at the time this article was published.

As part of an agreement that Bias would not publicly sue the city, he received a payment of $35,000. Larkin Radney, the attorney for the Alabama town known as "Alex City" by locals, said that the city's insurers made the call to settle with Bias. According to comments obtained by The Guardian from Bias, the settlement made clear that the city was not admitting fault.

Chief Robinson justified Middlebrooks' statements by claiming the officer didn't really mean what he said. Bias isn't buying it. "This town is ridiculous," he said during an interview. "The police here feel they can do what they want, and often they do.”
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