‘N****rs gotta learn how to read’: White Pennsylvania police chief uses racial slur in book drive fundraiser
Farrel Police Chief Thomas Burke
A newly sworn in police chief in Farrel, Pennsylvania said that he planned to make a public apology on Monday after he was caught using the N-word during a book drive fundraiser.
WICU reported that the email was discovered just days after Thomas Burke was sworn by the City of Farrell as the new police chief last Monday. He is scheduled to begin the job in January.
“Good morning,” the email begins. “Please click and review. Even $1.00 will be greatly appreciated. Them [Town of] Sharon n****s gotta learn how to read.”
Burke reportedly sent the letter to about a dozen friends and colleagues while working in the security department at a local steel mill.
City of Farrell Councilwoman Stephanie Sheffield said that Burke showed up at her home with a written apology after the letter became public.
“I immediately said dismissal,” Sheffield told WICU. “He came and knocked on my door this morning with an apology letter, and how he is very familiar with our community and our area with some of the issues that we have going on here.
Sheffield said that Burke explained “that he does use the N-word very often because that’s just the way that it is here our area.”
“He should not stand in that position if he’s going to use the N-word,” she insisted.
Farrell Mayor Olive McKeithan, who is black, stood up for Burke’s character.
“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,” McKeithanremarked to WKBN. “I have spoken with Mr. Burke and consider the matter as closed.”
Farrell City Manager Michael Ceci said that Burke would give a public apology at 3:30 p.m. on Monday in the rotunda of the city’s municipal building. According to Ceci, Burke was not expected to take any questions during his remarks.