A judge has upheld a decision to fire a white Rhode Island police sergeant who made racially offensive remarks about a black officer.

Superior Court Judge Alice Gibney on Thursday found Providence Sgt. David Marchant's remarks were "hurtful, demeaning, degrading, and racist."

The incident happened in December 2014, when Marchant responded along with a black patrolman to a suspicious package at Brown University.

When Marchant was asked by his supervisor later if he followed proper protocols, he said he had the black officer handle it and if the black officer got sick it wouldn't be a problem because "he's a black guy anyway."

Marchant was fired following a disciplinary hearing in November 2015.

Marchant says the remark was a joke. He argued the firing was unfair.