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Seattle police officer fired for off-duty racist comments

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Seattle police officer fired for off-duty racist comments
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Seattle police officer fired for off-duty racist comments

2024-06-21 11:13 Last Updated At:11:20

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer was fired for calling his Chinese American neighbor racist and sexist slurs while off duty in 2022, according to a news report.

Officer Burton Hill was fired in May, The Seattle Times reported.

The termination stemmed from an altercation with his neighbor, Zhen Jin, over the disposal of dog bones at the condominium complex where they lived in suburban Seattle.

The Seattle Office of Police Accountability had recommended a range of disciplinary actions, from a 30-day suspension to termination of employment. Hill was fired by then-police Chief Adrian Diaz on May 2, police spokesperson Eric Muñoz said.

Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Hill for comment weren't immediately successful.

The former police chief himself was removed from his post in late May by Mayor Bruce Harrell after lawsuits alleging Diaz’s police force was unwelcoming and discriminatory toward women and people of color. Diaz has vehemently denied the allegations.

Audio originally published by The Stranger newspaper of the altercation between Hill and Jin, which was quoted at length in the final OPA report, includes Hill barraging Jin with threats and insults over Jin allegedly throwing food scraps outside that Hill’s dog tried to eat.

In the recording, which was given to the accountability office by the nonprofit Chinese Information and Service Center, Hill uses derogatory terms for women and East Asian people, also repeatedly calling Jin “stupid.” At one point, Hill told her, “You’re going to jail.”

OPA Director Gino Betts Jr. sustained two of the three allegations against Hill related to officer professionalism and bias-based policing. A third allegation about officers not using their authority for personal gain was found inconclusive. The OPA report was published earlier this month.

Messages seeking comment from The Seattle Times to the Seattle Police Officers Guild and Office of Police Accountability were not returned Thursday.

Michael Itti, executive director of the Chinese Information and Service Center, which launched its Anti-Hate and Bias program in 2020 to address anti-Asian behavior or action, said Jin “showed tremendous courage” by filing the complaint against Hill. Itti said he has heard from many people involved with his group who are pleased with the result.

“They want to know the Police Department is upholding its values of professionalism,” Itti said.

According to the investigation, after hearing the recording, Hill told investigators, “Sounds like me, yeah,” but also said “you shouldn’t say those things … And it actually it makes me sick that I actually said that to her.”

FILE - A Seattle Police Department vehicle sits parked at Hing Hay Park in the heart of Seattle's Chinatown-International District, March 18, 2021, as a community response unit of officers began their shift. A Seattle police officer was fired for calling his Chinese American neighbor racist and sexist slurs while off duty in 2022, according to a news report. Officer Burton Hill was fired in May, 2024, The Seattle Times reported. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

FILE - A Seattle Police Department vehicle sits parked at Hing Hay Park in the heart of Seattle's Chinatown-International District, March 18, 2021, as a community response unit of officers began their shift. A Seattle police officer was fired for calling his Chinese American neighbor racist and sexist slurs while off duty in 2022, according to a news report. Officer Burton Hill was fired in May, 2024, The Seattle Times reported. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

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Reading of the 2024 Emmy nominations begins

2024-07-17 23:37 Last Updated At:23:40

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The reading of the 2024 Emmy Award nominations has begun.

Emmy winners Sheryl Lee Ralph and Tony Hale are announcing the nominees for the best work in television in a live-streamed ceremony available at Emmys.com and on YouTube. (It can also be watched on APNews.com. )

The nominees for best limited or anthology series are: “Baby Reindeer”; “Fargo”; “Lessons in Chemistry”; “Ripley”; “True Detective: Night Country.”

The nominees for outstanding reality competition show are: “The Amazing Race”; “RuPaul’s Drag Race”; “Top Chef”; “The Traitors” and “The Voice.”

The nominees are being announced just six months after the last Emmy Awards, which were delayed by last year’s writers and actors strikes.

Getting back to its traditional schedule, the show will be held Sept. 15 at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles and air on ABC.

None of last year’s top three nominees — “Succession,” “The White Lotus” and “The Last of Us” — all from HBO, are in the competition. “Succession,” the dominant winner three of the past four years, is finished and the other two are series between seasons.

Taking advantage of the opening could be FX upstart “Shogun” and Netflix Emmy perennial “The Crown.”

“Shogun" shook up the drama race when its makers said in May that despite reaching the end of the story of James Clavell's historical novel about political machinations in early 17th century Japan, they would explore making more than one season. That shifted the critical darling from the limited series category to the more elite drama category, where it immediately became the favorite.

If “Shogun” does dominate, FX could be this year's HBO, with “The Bear" set to clean up in comedy and “Fargo” likely to get plenty of nominations in the limited or anthology series categories.

“The Bear” is eligible for its second season, in which chef and lead Carmen “Carmie” Berzatto, played by Emmy winner Jeremy Allen White, attempts to transform a shoddy sandwich shop into an elite restaurant. The series created by Christopher Storer could easily top the 13 nominations and six wins it got last time around.

For more coverage on this year’s Emmy Awards and recent television shows, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/television

This image released by Netflix shows Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales, in a scene from "The Crown." (Keith Bernstein/Netflix via AP)

This image released by Netflix shows Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales, in a scene from "The Crown." (Keith Bernstein/Netflix via AP)

This image released by FX shows Eita Okuno as Saeki Nobutatsu, from left, Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko, Hiromoto Ida as Kiyama Ukon Sadanaga in a scene from "Shogun." (Katie Yu/FX via AP)

This image released by FX shows Eita Okuno as Saeki Nobutatsu, from left, Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko, Hiromoto Ida as Kiyama Ukon Sadanaga in a scene from "Shogun." (Katie Yu/FX via AP)

FILE - Emmy statues appear on stage at the 70th Primetime Emmy nominations announcement in Los Angeles on July 12, 2018. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - Emmy statues appear on stage at the 70th Primetime Emmy nominations announcement in Los Angeles on July 12, 2018. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

This image released by FX shows Jeremy Allen White as Carmen Berzatto, in a scene from "The Bear." (FX via AP)

This image released by FX shows Jeremy Allen White as Carmen Berzatto, in a scene from "The Bear." (FX via AP)

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