Body and dash cam shows Cincinnati police officer use racial slur while on duty

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A Cincinnati officer's police powers have been suspended after her body cam captured her saying a racial slur while on duty and in uniform.

Footage from Officer Rose Valentino's body-worn camera and mobile video recording show her driving past Western Hills University High School on her way to the District Three station on Ferguson Road April 5. According to an internal report, Valentino turned on her lights and sirens to signal for parked cars waiting to pick up students to move.

"You gotta move," Valentino said. "F****** ridiculous, f****** a*******. Is she gonna f****** just sit there?"

As she starts driving again, Valentino says, "Oh I f****** hate them so much, God I hate this f****** world." She then rolls down her window at the station gate to enter.

When she rolls her window back up, Valentino mutters under her breath.

"F****** n******," she said. "I f****** hate em."

Valentino turns off her body-worn camera, but the mobile video recording in her cruiser captures her saying, "And there it is," as she pulls into the station parking lot.

According to the internal report, Valentino admitted to cursing at drivers who didn't move their cars. She said she used the racial slur in reference to a Black teen who flipped her off while walking down the sidewalk after school.

The internal report says Valentino claimed she had been "desensitized to racially offensive language by music and hearing people talk on the street" and "frequent exposure had allowed the slur to slip into her vernacular."

Valentino has been a police officer with CPD since 2008. Performance reports show Valentino consistently met or exceeded standards for patrolling. She trains officers who recently graduated from the academy and her supervisors said she was dedicated and that she "does great work."

The 14-year veteran has been reprimanded for not turning on her body camera multiple times, and she was one of three officers involved in a lawsuit involving race in November 2018.

The city settled the lawsuit with realtor Jerry Isham and prospective homeowner Anthony Edwards, who said they were illegally detained at a showing in West Price Hill after a retired police officer called 911 for a break-in. Court documents show Valentino escalated the situation by aiming her gun at the two men and putting them in handcuffs.

In March 2020, Valentino was convicted by plea of disorderly conduct after pushing and punching two family members — and using an umbrella to damage a car — while off duty. She was referred to a behavioral health center for anger management.

Cincinnati's interim city manager John Curp said in a statement Interim CPD Chief Teresa Theetge has suspended Valentino's police powers while a disciplinary hearing process takes place.

"Officer Valentino will not be on city streets in uniform, wearing a badge, or carrying a firearm," Curp said.

The process, Curp said, is mandated by contractual requirements of the collective bargaining agreement between the FOP and city.

"We hold all of our employees, and especially our sworn police officers, to high standards," Curp said in part. "The body camera video of Officer Rose Valentino is disturbing. I expect CPD to thoroughly investigate this matter and recommend discipline in strict accordance with the city’s disciplinary procedures."

Two CPD officers are suing the city and former Chief Eliot Isaac for employment discrimination after disciplinary actions they received after using the same word while on the job. One officer is white, while the other is Black.

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