The new police chief of Farrell, Pa. is under fire for using a racial slur in an email sent before he was elected to the position.
According to WICU, Thomas Burke asked dozens of friends and colleagues to donate money or books to a book drive while director of safety and security of a local steel mill. At one point he writes, “Even $1.00 will be greatly appreciated. Them Sharon n***as gotta learn how to read.” The town of Sharon is located immediately north of Farrell.
Needless to say, many people in and around Farrell aren’t happy with Burke’s comments — regardless of whether or not they were uttered during his tenure as police chief, which doesn’t begin until January.
“I was very hurt and upset,” said Farrell council member Stephanie Sheffield. “I think it was a very negative response for our area here in Sharon and Farrell.”
WKBN reports that Burke delivered an apology in an official statement to local press, which he read from the rotunda of the city’s municipal building on Monday.
Farrell mayor Olive McKeithan, who is African-American, also spoke with the press.
“Until you get to know a man’s character, you can’t judge him by one off-the-cuff remark, or else we would have to judge all white people as equally guilty,” he said. “I have spoken with Mr. Burke and consider the matter as closed.”
Check out the clip above, via WICU.
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