Robert Copeland, 82, the police commissioner who sparked national outrage after his racist statements about President Barack Obama were made public last week, has resigned, reports the Washington Post.
Town officials in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire confirmed that Copeland submitted his resignation late Sunday night.
“Commissioner Copeland’s reprehensible comments dishonor law enforcement officials across our state who work hard to ensure that all citizens are treated fairly, and the remarks do not represent the values of New Hampshire residents,” said William Hinkle, a spokesman for New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan. “Governor Hassan believes that he should listen to the people of Wolfeboro and New Hampshire and apologize and step down in order to restore confidence in the Commission.”
As previously reported by NewsOne, Wolfeboro resident Jane O’Toole said she overheard Copeland call President Obama the “n-word” at a restaurant in March and wrote to the town manager. Copeland acknowledged using the slur and refused to apologize.
“I believe I did use the “n-word” in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse,” Copeland said in an email to his fellow police commissioners. “For this, I do not apologize – he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.”
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who owns a vacation home in Wolfeboro, also called for Copeland’s resignation, reports the Post.
“The vile epithet used and confirmed by the commissioner has no place in our community,” Romney said in a statement to the Boston Herald last week. “He should apologize and resign.”
About 20 Black people live in Wolfeboro in central New Hampshire, a state that’s 94 percent White and 1 percent Black, reports the Associated Press. None of the police department’s 12 full-time officers is Black or a member of another U.S. minority.