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Wolfeboro police official calls Obama the N-word, refuses to apologize or resign

The town of Wolfeboro in Carroll County in New Hampshire
The town of Wolfeboro in Carroll County in New Hampshire

Wolfeboro Police Commissioner Robert Copland, an 82-year-old white man in New Hampshire, publicly called President Barack Obama the N-word. Copeland addressed the previous incident in which he used the racial slur in describing the president at a public meeting on Thursday. While he has admitted calling Obama the racial slur while describing the president, he also says that he will not be apologizing for what he has said, according to a New York Daily News report on Friday.

Copeland used the N-word in speaking about the president when he was at a restaurant two months ago. A woman who lives in the town, Jane O’Toole, asserts that she overheard Copland say the racial slur while she was at a restaurant. O’Toole, a resident of the predominantly white town for just four months, wrote to the town manager about the incident. After that, Copeland responded to the issue via an e-mail to O’Toole himself. He informed her in writing that he will not apologize.

Copeland, who is one of three police commissioners in the small town, wrote an e-mail to his fellow-police commissions in which a portion of it was also sent to O’Toole. In that communication, he said the he believes he did use the N-word in reference to the current occupant of the White House. He also wrote that he does not apologize for the racial slur against Obama because Obama – in Copeland’s opinion – meets and exceeds his criteria for being called the racial slur.

Copeland is the police commissioner in the locale who hires, fires and disciplines officers. He is also responsible for setting the salaries of the other commissioners. On March 11, 2014, he was re-elected to another three-year term in his official position. In the last election, he ran unopposed.

Regarding Wolfeboro, there are 6,300 residents. Only some 20 persons in the entire town are black. Racially, overall, there are 94 percent white persons and 1 percent black persons in the town. Of 12 full-time police officers, all 12 are white.

At the public meeting, which was held at the Wolfeboro Public Library, more than 100 persons attended the meeting and called on Copeland to resign, according to a Yahoo! News report. O’Toole, a white woman, was one of many who spoke during the meeting. David Owen, the Wolfeboro town manager, said that he finds Copeland’s remark reprehensible and also said that he -nor the town’s board of selectmen - has the authority to remove an elected official from office. Copeland said, after the meeting, that he wants to think about what is going on and then he will decide what to do.

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