A Democratic lawmaker in New Hampshire who was accused of using a racial slur to intimidate a young Black man has apologized, according to the Associated Press.
The lawmaker, Rep. Nicole Klein-Knight, was removed from the House Criminal Justice Public Safety Committee after community leaders wrote a letter denouncing her and her alleged actions.
Nicole Klein-Knight worked with many of the Black, Brown and Indigenous community organizers in the past, but weeks leading up to the racist incident at the statehouse, her behavior was considered disturbing by some of the community organizers.
From Associated Press:
According to the letter, Klein-Knight accosted a young Black organizer after he testified on a bill, using a racial slur multiple times to make her point. Though the slur wasn’t directed at the young man, she continued to use it after he asked her to stop, and she later called security, according to the letter.
“Her habitual aggression and disregard is tearing apart the progressive community in NH, endangering BIPOC organizers’ lives and livelihoods and cannot be ignored any longer,” the group said.She sent in an email to the young Black man to apologize for her words.
According to the Associated Press, Klein-Knight wrote in the email to the young Black man, “I immediately regretted it, and agree that no one should be using that language, and I apologize from the bottom of my heart for the pain it has caused.” The email further said, “If you ever want to have a discussion with me about this I will be more than happy to do so, don’t hesitate to reach out.”
Klein-Knight said she was given the advice to be quiet until officials in the House finished their investigation of the young Black man’s ethics complaint. He has still not made any comments on the incident.
Republican House Speaker Sherm Packard removed Klein-Knight from her committee seat at the request of Renny Cushing, a Democratic State Representative in New Hampshire. He called Klein-Knight’s actions “inexcusable” and “indefensible.”