(Two town residents confront Robert Copeman about calling the president a racial slur. Photo: AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Robert Coleman, a police commissioner from Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, may soon find himself on the unemployment line. He was overheard calling President Obama the N-word.
Resident Jane O'Toole in March overheard the elected official, while dining at a local restaurant say loudly that he hates watching television because every time he turns it on he sees “that f------ n-----," referring to Obama, the Concord Monitor reports. After some weeks of soul searching and speaking to others about the incident, O'Toole decided to issue a complaint.
Now she and others are calling for Coleman to step down and if he refuses to do so, they want to recall his election.
But Coleman's not backing down. In fact, in response to O'Toole's complaint, he doubled down on his use of racist language.
“While I believe the problems associated with minorities in this country are momentous, I am not phobic. My use of derogatory slang in reference to those among them undeserving of respect is no secret. It is the exercise of my First Amendment rights,” he wrote. “I believe I did use the ‘N’ word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse [sic]. For this I do not apologize — he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.”
According to the Associated Press, Wolfeboro's population of 6,300 includes only about 20 Blacks and all of the town's 12 full-time police officers are white. On Thursday, more than 100 people attended a town meeting to push Copeland to step down. Many wore handmade stickers on which the word "resign" was written.
When AP asked for a comment from Carroll County Deputy Sheriff Paul Bois, who's Black, and one of two officers the town employs part-time during the summer tourist season, he said, "I'd love to, but I can't."
Follow Joyce Jones on Twitter: @BETpolitichick.
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