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Some members of the mostly white neighborhood have called on Wolfeboro Police Commissioner Robert Copeland to apologize after resident Jane O’Toole overheard him calling Obama the “N” word. In an email to O’Toole, Copeland admitted using the slur but would not apologize for it.
Since Copeland, one of three members of the police commission, is an elected official, Wolfeboro Town Manager David Owen said Thursday that he has no power to remove him. Owen says he finds Copeland’s comments “reprehensible” and expects many residents to call for Copeland’s resignation over the the remark.
Commission Chairman Joseph Balboni told the Concord Monitor that he had no plans of asking Copeland to resign.
“I think it’s crazy. Bob is a very nice person, and he’s been very generous to the town of Wolfeboro,” Balboni said.
“He’s worked with a lot of blacks in his life. . . . He said some harsh words about Mr. Obama, and here we are. This woman, she’s blowing it all out of proportion.”
Some in the community surely feel that Copeland blew it out of proportion when he refused to apologize for his racist remarks.
O’Toole said she never wanted to get involved in politics prior to this incident.
“I vote, I’ve always voted, but I have no desire to run for any kind of office or get involved in politics,” O’Toole said. “I just happened to be at a restaurant at the wrong time.”
O’Toole says she overheard Copeland while finishing up dinner at Nolan’s Brick Oven Bistro. She says Copeland said he hated watching television because every time he turned on the TV he saw “that f**king nιgger.”
She said she asked him if he was “throwing the n-word around” and he defiantly told her, “yeah.”
She wrote the town manager and the commissioners, including Copeland, about the remarks.
Copeland refused to apologize in his email to her.
“I believe I did use the “N” word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse. For this, I do not apologize — he meets and exceeds my criteria for such,” he wrote.