Police continue investigation of racist audio recordings; man accused and whistleblower speak out
Published 7:54 pm Wednesday, March 10, 2021
A LaGrange business owner accused of making racist comments on several audio recordings alleges the sound was doctored and pieced together from several conversations. The man who recorded the audio denies that the recordings are edited in any way.
Alan Weaver, owner of Alan Weaver Services, said audio recordings released on social media last weekend feature his voice. However, he accused Dylan Hester, a former employee at his company, of altering them before releasing them to the public.
The LaGrange Police Department said Monday that it is investigating the recordings, which all feature Weaver’s voice. In several of the clips, Hester can be heard speaking, but Weaver does almost all of the talking.
“If they did away with the guns, blacks would take over and you’d do away with the blacks,” Weaver is heard saying in one of the clips. “Like on LaFayette Court, you go down through there and you go to all these different places and you kill every one of them. Women, children, babies — you kill them all. Go to the hospital — kill them all. You do away with the problem…”
The clips vary in length, from 30 seconds long to a couple of minutes. Hester said the clips are not edited in any way.
“It’s 100 percent false,” Hester said. “Just as easily as you can claim they’re spliced together, you could have anyone come and analyze the recordings and prove they’re 100 percent unedited and unaltered.”
Hester said the clips are from his time working for Weaver, which he estimated to be several months. He said he was paid under the table, so he only has record of a few weeks on the job. Weaver told the LDN that Hester worked for him for a few weeks. Hester said the clips are from August and September. In the audio, it’s unclear where the conversations are taking place.
“I couldn’t record eight hours of the day,” Hester said. “So, you know, as we were sitting somewhere, and he would get into a conversation, that’s when I would start recording him because I knew at some point inevitably it would take some kind of very racist, off-the-wall turn.”
He said after seven months he decided he needed to make the recordings public. Hester said he asked a friend he knew from high school, Maxii Edmonson, to post the recordings because he knew she was an activist. Edmonson posted them on her Facebook page and the original post has over 200 shares and over 100 comments.
“I think it was important because this man receives money from black people every day, and I’m sure it would be different if they knew how he really felt about us,” Edmonson said when asked for a comment by the LDN. “How are we good enough to take money from but not good enough for America? This man stated he was close to lawyers, police, judges, etc. and that goes to show you that there may be people just like him in those positions so we must not stop at reporting him locally, this has to go further or it will continue happening and that’s not something the black community will stand for any longer.”
Hester said he’s still concerned about going public but felt it was the right thing to do.
“I don’t think anything made me more comfortable,” Hester said of the seven months since he recorded the audio. “Overall, I’m still just as fearful for retaliation because I feel he’s that unstable. But at the end of the day, me knowing that he has thought and thought out thoroughly planned genocide of black people, and if he were to carry out those things, and I remained quiet I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.”
Weaver dropped off a written statement at the LDN on Wednesday. The LDN is not correcting grammatical errors in the statement.
“As you can see Dylan pulled me into conversations that it is embarrassing. Dylan inserted words and parts of sentences together months ago and couldn’t figure out how to use it to get some of his grandmothers property or to brake up our friendship, so a few weeks ago he borrows money from me and more from a family member and decides to use it as blackmail not to pay it back,” Weaver wrote in the statement to the LDN. “And here we are. I am very sorry to have upset everyone with some of the words I used, and I hate that Dylan used my voice and my individual words together to say things that made so many people mad. His jealousy, hatred, and revenge from 7 months ago has caused a lot of damage to a lot of people. Be very careful, a very smart kid with a recorder, cell phone, and computer, trying to pull you in to several controversial conversations can be very dangerous.”
In the statement, Weaver said Hester was jealous because his grandparents reworked their will to include giving Weaver a portion of their property. Weaver told the LDN that he often eats breakfast with Weaver’s grandmother and considers her a good friend.
“He’s trying to tie them together to, I guess insinuate that I have some kind of vendetta out to get him, and that is not true that as he tried to make two things relevant that have no correlation,” Hester said. “So, while those statements, may be true that those things, events, did happen, those did not fuel my decision to record him.”
Weaver said in their talks Hester often brought up race, including when the schools were integrated, and about the protests that went on throughout the summer months.
“Dylan talked all about the riots, black lives matter, antifa, that were going on all summer, politics, Trump, and when I heard the tape of killing men women and babies I was shocked, had to listen to it a couple of times and that’s when I knew he had spliced this together, and still took a while to figure out how and when I would have said that, in a quite [apartment],” Weaver wrote in his statement.
“Dylan said Trump never did anything good, I told him to remember for mouths before he was elected every morning there was a bombing in some country some where in the world by radical Muslims where they were cutting off heads, burning them in baskets, and told Dylan if all that had come to America don’t think for a minuet they wouldn’t go through the streets killing men, women, children, baby’s ect. And there is no telling how many times he had me saying Lafayette court.”
As part of his statement, Weaver said he used the N-word on the recordings to explain how things were in the past.
“In explaining the past I used the entire N word several time as I heard it in the past, yet had not used in many, many years,” Weaver wrote.
The word is featured numerous times on the audio clips.
“He uses that word like it’s Zatarain’s seasoning or something,” Hester said. “It does not faze him to use that word at all. And he will use it anytime, anywhere.”
The LPD said it continues to investigate the comments.
Hester alleged that the law enforcement officers who investigated him — one from the LPD and one from the Troup County Sheriff’s Office — told him to have the audio removed from social media. LaGrange Police Chief Lou Dekmar said he reviewed bodycam footage and Hester was asked if he would remove the audio from social media while LPD investigated the recording, but no demand was made.
Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff said that he would review bodycam footage Thursday, but he said he’s reviewed the report from the incident, and there’s no indication that a sheriff’s deputy demanded that the audio be removed.
While LPD works the audio recording case, Woodruff said the TCSO is currently investigating four death threats made against Weaver via phone calls to his business. Woodruff said at least three of the calls likely came from the same man.
In a phone call with the LDN, Weaver said he and his wife have signed divorce papers because she “doesn’t deserve any of this.” He also said he might have to move.
“He has cost me everything,” Weaver said of Hester.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the LPD at (706) 883-2603 or Troup County Crime Stoppers at 706-812-1000.