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Seattle police officer, Burton Hill, fired for off-duty racist comments

A Seattle police officer was fired in 2022 after hurling racist and sexist slurs at a Chinese-American neighbor while off-duty, according to reports.

Officer Barton Hill was fired in May. The Seattle Times.

His firing came after he got into an argument with his neighbor, Zhen Jing, over the disposal of a dog bone in their suburban Seattle apartment building.

The Seattle Police Accountability Office recommended disciplinary action ranging from a 30-day suspension to termination.

Seattle Police Officer Barton Hill was fired in 2022 for using racist and sexist language against his Chinese American neighbors while off-duty. AP

Hill was fired May 2 by then-Police Chief Adrian Diaz, police spokesman Eric Munoz said.

Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Hill for comment were not immediately successful.

The former police chief himself was fired from his position by Mayor Bruce Harrell in late May following a lawsuit that alleged Diaz’s department was unwelcoming and discriminatory toward women and people of color.

Diaz strongly denies the allegations.

Audio first published Stranger Newspaper Portions of the argument between Hill and Ginn were quoted at length in the OPA’s final report, including Hill threatening and insulting Ginn after Ginn allegedly threw out food scraps outside that Hill’s dog was going to eat.

The Seattle Police Accountability Office recommended disciplinary action ranging from a 30-day suspension to termination. Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images

In the recordings, provided to the Accountability Office by the nonprofit China Information Service Center, Hill is heard calling out derogatory terms for women and East Asians and repeatedly calling Jin a “stupid person.” At one point, Hill told Jin, “You’re going to jail.”

OPA Director Gino Betts Jr. confirmed two of the three charges made against Hill relating to officer professionalism and bias policing.

The third allegation, that the officers were not exercising their powers for personal gain, was not conclusively proven.

The OPA report was released earlier this month.

Messages sent by The Seattle Times to the Seattle Police Officers Union and the Office of Police Accountability seeking comment were not responded to Thursday.

Michael Itti, executive director of the China Information Service Center, which launched an anti-hate and bias program in 2020 to address anti-Asian actions and language, said Jin “showed extraordinary courage” in filing the complaint against Hill.

Itti said he had heard from many of the group’s stakeholders that they were pleased with the outcome.

The former police chief himself was fired from his position by Mayor Bruce Harrell in late May following a lawsuit that alleged Diaz’s department was unwelcoming and discriminatory toward women and people of color. AP

“They want to know that police are upholding the values ​​of professionalism,” Itti said.

After listening to the recording, Hill told investigators “that was definitely my voice” and added, “I shouldn’t have said that… and I’m disgusted that I actually said that to her,” according to the investigation.

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