The 82-year-old police commissioner who was overheard calling President Obama the N-word and would later refuse to apologize citing that the president meets all of his criteria for being called such, has resigned amid heavy political pressure and national outrage, The Washington Post reports.
Police officials confirmed to the Post that Robert Copeland turned in his resignation to the town manager and police chief Monday. Copeland’s resignation comes after several news outlets reported not only his use of the word in reference to the president but his iron-willed refusal to apologize even after he was admonished during a town meeting.
After the news broke, several of New Hampshire’s political heavyweights including, Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R) and Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Gov. Maggie Hassan called for his resignation. Police were flooded with calls from vacationers threatening to boycott the high-end vacation spot that plays host to the likes of Mitt Romney, who also called for Copeland’s resignation.
“I’ve spoken with Commissioner Copeland, I’ve spoken with his wife and I’ve told them, both of them, that the remarks were offensive, there is no place for an elected official or anyone else describing the president of the United States or anybody using that term,” current state senator from Wolfeboro, Jeb Bradley told the Post.
“I explained that to them, and I also said: You need to resign.”
Wolfeboro resident Jane O’Toole overheard Copeland use the slur when talking about the president in a restaurant. O’Toole then filed a formal complaint with the town manager.
When asked about his use of the word, Copeland replied to an email stating: “I believe I did use the ‘N’ word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse,” Copeland also forwarded the email to O’Toole. “For this, I do not apologize — he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.”
O’Toole told the Associated Press Monday that she was pleased with Copeland’s decision to step down.
“I feel it was the right thing for him to do to stop this incredible train that had been blowing through our town,” she told AP. “I’m thrilled. The people of Wolfeboro have stood up and said that this is not acceptable.”