Police commissioner in NH resigns after calling Obama the 'N' word

BOSTON Mon May 19, 2014 2:41pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama talks while having lunch with construction workers at Shake Shack in Washington May 16, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama talks while having lunch with construction workers at Shake Shack in Washington May 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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BOSTON (Reuters) - A police commissioner in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, resigned on Monday under fire from town officials and residents after he called President Barack Obama the "N" word and refused to apologize, a police official said.

Police Commissioner Robert Copeland was overheard using the racial slur at a restaurant in the town in March and later admitted it in an email to colleagues, saying: "For this, I do not apologize — he meets and exceeds my criteria for such."

The incident caused an uproar in the town, a popular summer tourist destination on Lake Winnipesaukee. Residents harangued Copeland, who is 82 and white, at a public meeting last week, and Town Manager David Owen issued a statement on Friday urging Copeland to step down and "save the Town any further embarrassment of his making."

A Wolfeboro police official confirmed Copeland's resignation on Monday but would provide no further details. He said the department would issue a press release later on Monday.

(Reporting by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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