Deputy U.S. Marshal investigated for using racial slur caught on recording during arrest

LORAIN, Ohio -- A deputy U.S. Marshal is on administrative leave after using a racial slur during an arrest.

Lorain police are praising the officers involved for using amazing restraint during the arrest. They call it an amazing piece of police work, which will be marred by an insensitive, offensive remark made by a deputy U.S. marshal who thought no one could hear him.

"It was his true feelings; he was speaking from his heart," said Lorain city councilman Angel Arroyo.

Arroyo is upset over an arrest that happened in his city Friday afternoon. U.S. Marshals along with Lorain police were trying to arrest fugitive, 25-year-old Zaire Duffy.

Duffy had felony warrants related to an aggravated robbery, in which the victim was pistol whipped. On Friday afternoon, they found him in a McDonald's parking lot on Middle Ridge Road in Lorain.

According to police, Duffy fled and almost struck a police vehicle.

He drove to Amherst where he rammed his car into a narcotics officer’s vehicle.

He was arrested by U.S. Marshals.

One deputy marshal was unaware that Duffy's girlfriend, who was in the car, left her cell phone in the car and recorded him making racial statements.

“F---k that n----r," the officer is heard saying on the recording.

"That was derogatory. It was a racist comment, a comment that is uncalled for. The men and women that are sworn to hold the badge are sworn to be peacemakers; unfortunately, this U.S. Marshal has brought controversy to our community," Arroyo said.

The head U.S. Marshal Pete Elliot released the following statement:

"We are aware of the recorded incident and the inappropriate language used by a deputy U.S. Marshal during the arrest of Zaire Duffy last Friday. The deputy marshal has been placed on administrative leave, and district management has referred the matter to USMS internal affairs for investigation. We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior, which does not represent our agency’s core values of justice, integrity and service. We are disgusted by the use of such repugnant language, because we strive to treat everyone professionally, regardless of alleged crimes. The agency takes seriously any allegation of misconduct by its personnel. As a matter of policy, USMS does not reveal the identity of employees in reference to specific personnel matters."

"It's bringing another blemish on our community and it's also now degrading minorities across our community and it's also putting a division into the work that our local Lorain Police Department and other police departments around the country have been trying to do in building the bridge," said Arroyo.