Recordings from interviews with Butler Police Chief released

BUTLER (WITI) -- Former Butler Police Chief Michael Cosgrove fielded a broad range of questions regarding the behavior of his department. This, after an investigation into the Butler Police Department was launched following a citizen complaint. After an audit of Butler PD was launched by Waukesha County Sheriff's Officials, Cosgrove retired.

FOX6 News obtained recordings of the questioning session involving investigators and Cosgrove. One of the most notable topics was that of racial slurs allegedly used by officers at the Butler Police Department -- an allegation that has the Waukesha County NAACP calling for the entire Butler PD to be disbanded.

INVESTIGATOR: "Is the term n***** a common term around the Butler Police Department?"

"I would say no, not common," replied Cosgrove.

INVESTIGATOR: "Who uses that term, n*****?"

"Everybody." answered Cosgrove.

INVESTIGATOR: "Do you use the term?"

"I do, but I have to qualify when I use that term that it's not specific to a black person," said Cosgrove.

The recordings were released, Thursday, June 20th after a scathing report detailing inappropriate behavior in the department was released on June 6th.

The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department found Cosgrove had pornography on his work computer, had made racist comments with staff members and had supervised his department through fear and intimidation.

The audit of the Butler Police Department found slurs regarding sexual orientation, as well as racial slurs were used in the department, including nicknames for personnel and individuals the department would work with.

"I've explained myself that I believe there are black n*****s and white n*****s. I use the term to explain people who don't fulfill their societal obligations, who take advantage of the system," said Cosgrove. "I've used the term regarding my sister."

Investigators also shared images described as racist, however Cosgrove doesn't label his officers that way.

"Our department is not racist in law enforcement practices," said Cosgrove. "Yes, there are racist jokes made not only regarding blacks, but regarding Polish people, Russian people, Irish people. I'm Irish. It's locker room humor. It does not carry on to the street and I think that's verified that we've never ever had a complaint of racism brought up against our department."

Cosgrove retired shortly after the investigation began, with Cosgrove writing on Facebook in March: “I’m officially retired. Suck it Butler politics.”

In the 350-page report, the Butler Police Department, in the heart of tiny Butler is called “dysfunctional” — a “frat house” that was permeated with elements of “racism and pornography.”

In the department with just seven officers, five (including the now-retired chief) are accused of viewing pornography on work computers and cell phones in a practice described by one employee as “porn in the morn.”

All of the four officers in trouble were still on the job after the investigation was released — but officials were considering a three-day suspension. One officer had charges against him referred to the District Attorney’s Office. That officer was on paid leave.