The Arkansas Delta Sheriff resigned under duress after the recording of a man identified as him delivering a racist sound went viral. Arkansas County Sheriff Todd Wright resigned on Friday at the request of the county’s Quorum Court after Pine Bluff Commercial announced a five-minute audio recording posted on Facebook this week.
The recording is of a man who uses racial words nine times after being upset that a woman he was with spoke to a black man in a grocery store. The woman calls the man “Todd” all the time.
District Judge Thomas Best, the county’s most elected administrator, said the quorum court decided on Thursday to request Wright̵
“I’m sad that someone would respect God’s creation in this way,” Best said. “There is no way I can approve of this action by anyone.”
CBS affiliate KTHV reported that Wright made a statement to the court, but after initially asking for a chance to “sort out his affairs,” a local pastor persuaded him to resign immediately. About an hour later, he turned his badge and pistol to applause in the gallery.
Outside the courtroom, many expressed happiness at the resignation as they wondered how much change Wright’s resignation would bring.
“Let’s just clean up the city,” Consuela McKinsey said as she stood with two of her sons in college. “Clean up the city so we can let our kids live for free.”
Chief Deputy Randy Bateman will serve as sheriff until a deputy is appointed or special elections are held, Best said.
Wright has been in the sheriff’s office for 26 years, the last four as elected sheriff.