2 Orange County deputies reassigned, reprimanded for saying racial slurs on the job

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Two Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies have been reassigned after using derogatory racial slurs on the job.


Investigative reporter Ashlyn Webb has waited months for the reports to be released.

9 Investigates found the two deputies were both part of the Professional Standards Division when they were accused of using racial slurs on the job. The division is tasked with investigating if other deputies are policing in part in a non-discriminatory way.

Former law enforcement and instructors tell Eyewitness News this is “embarrassing” for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Two deputies were caught using racial slurs on the job.

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The complaints date back to 2021 when deputies who had just completed basic recruit training reported in an anonymous survey that Sergeant Lance Carlson said the n-word “multiple times” in class.

Carlson said he was trying to “educate the recruits on language or behaviors they will encounter during their duties as a deputy sheriff.”

Though recruits agreed that was the context, some said the language was “uncalled for” and “upsetting,” noting that the class seemed “uneasy.”

“It’s a sad commentary. I think that the officers had to resort to an anonymous complaint about these issues rather than being able to talk to some superior officer talk about the discomfort,” said Bob Stewart, director of Policing with our Community LLC.

Stewart is the former Ormond Beach Police Chief and former executive director of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

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Stewart now trains law enforcement on how to teach classes like this.

He says the point could have been made without Carlson using the racial slur.

He says this speaks to a larger problem in law enforcement.

“In today’s age, that we haven’t figured out ways to handle discussions about race in a manner that places officers at ease in terms of a discussion without using derogatory terms,” Stewart said.

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Carlson’s investigation was brought up again in 2023 in a new investigation.

The Lieutenant over professional standards, Ryan Olsson, was accused of using the same racial slur.

In that case, Olsson told his subordinates sometimes they have to investigate friends, using the n-word to describe his investigation into Carlson’s language.

While being investigated, Olsson said he never meant to hurt anyone by stating facts of an investigation.

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“There’s an additional obligation that comes with working professional standards that you want your behavior to be beyond reproach,” Stewart said. “And for the department, this is a black eye.”

Lt. Olsson received 16 hours of suspension; meanwhile, Sgt. Carlson received a written reprimand.

Both were placed outside the Professional Standards Division.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office declined to interview on camera. Sheriff John Mina released a statement:

“At the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, we hold all personnel to the highest ethical standards, and that includes speech that is bigoted in nature. In both cases, someone alerted their chain of command to the language that was used and the incidents were thoroughly investigated. In both cases, the subjects were sustained for Unsatisfactory Performance, faced discipline and were moved out of the Professional Standards Division.”

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