Black History: Special Delivery!!
Thomas Burke was recently hired as the new police chief in Farrell, PA and is scheduled to start work on January 1, 2016. Burke has issued a public apology for his use of the n-word in an email that was sent out earlier this year. Burke, who is white, shared the following comments during his apology:
“… I cannot tell you, from the bottom of my heart, I am truly sorry. I apologize deeply”. Burke sent the email in regard to a reading fundraiser. The email was sent in April 2015. In the email, Burke writes, “Good morning. Please click and review. Even a one dollar will be greatly appreciated. Them Sharon n–gers gotta learn how to read.” Burke reportedly emailed about a dozen friends and colleagues while working in the security department of a local steel mill.
The city’s mayor, Olive McKeithan, who is African American, acknowledged that Burke has admitted to the incident. The mayor is indicating that she still supports Burke as police chief. According the local news station, she states, “As the mayor of Farrell and as an African American, I stand behind Mr. Burke as police chief for the city of Farrell,…….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,” she added. “I have spoken to Mr. Burke and consider the matter as closed.”
Farrell City Councilwoman, Stephanie Sheffield feels he should be dismissed. Burke came to her home with a written apology and according to Sheffield that he did not use n-word very often because, “that’s just the way it is here in our area.”
Other community residents have also serious concerns about Burke becoming the police chief. Burke is not facing any disciplinary action at this time. The local NAACP is meeting to discuss the incident.
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