Town Official Defends Police Commissioner Who Called Obama The N-Word

CREDIT: AP Photo/Jim Cole

A serene image of Wolfboro, N.H., where a town police commissioner refuses to apologize for calling President Obama "the 'N' word."

On March 6, Jane O’Toole was in a Wolfeboro, N.H., restaurant when she heard a town police commissioner call President Obama “the ‘N’ word.” In an email response to O’Toole’s complaint to town officials, the commissioner, Robert Copeland, admitted to having made the comment, writing, “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,” according to a report from the Associated Press and the New York Times.

Copeland, 82, is one of three elected police commissioners in Wolfeboro, an overwhelmingly white town with 6,300 residents, about 20 of whom are black.

Commission Chairman Joseph Balboni Jr. told the Concord Monitor that O’Toole, whom he referred to as “this woman,” is “blowing it out of proportion,” and that he doesn’t plan to ask Copeland to resign. “He’s (Copeland) worked with a lot of blacks in his life,” Balboni said.

The town manager said he finds the comments “reprehensible” but doesn’t have the power to remove Copeland from office.


Copeland agreed to resign, Wolfeboro police officials told NBC Monday afternoon. After his comments drew national attention, political figures including former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and State Sen. Jeb Bradley (R) called on Copeland to step down.

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