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‘Go back to Mexico’: Richland officer fired after allegedly yelling slur at resident

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A Richland police officer is no longer employed by the department after a video allegedly showed the first responder directing a derogatory slur at a resident.

In a statement posted on social media, Richland Police Chief Adrian Ready said a clip of the male officer, who has been identified as Jeremy Rast, in an interaction he deemed to be “concerning” was brought to his attention on Tuesday.

The incident in question took place on Sunday, Ready confirmed, after the officer responded to a domestic disturbance involving a firearm. A source close to the situation confirmed to SuperTalk Mississippi News that, while at the scene, the officer told a resident that the individual did not belong in Richland and needed to “go back to Mexico.”

The chief stated that he was not initially given a timestamp of the video and was unable to review any additional context surrounding the incident when the clip first surfaced. As Ready began researching body camera video of the previous weekend, he and other investigators were unable to find any altercation that would justify concern.

The video in question was later viewed in its entirety by department leaders. It was discovered that the officer did not have his body camera on, resulting in no evidence of the incident before or after the complainant’s video.

After assessing the events of the clip, higher-ups in the department called the officer and relieved him of his duties as he simultaneously resigned from his post.

“As Police Chief, it is with great disappointment that we announce the immediate removal of the officer who made derogatory slurs,” Ready’s statement reads. “This type of language is not only unacceptable, but it also undermines the trust and respect that we work hard to build within our community. We want to make it clear that this behavior will not be tolerated within our department and we are committed to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.”

Editor’s note: Since the original story was published, the individual who Rast is said to have yelled slurs at has been identified as Luis Rodriguez. Rodriguez, a native of Honduras, told WLBT that he had been arrested by Rast before and fears that the Richland Police Department is singling him out. 

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