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Published On: Fri, Sep 20th, 2013

Pennsylvania police chief fired over ‘libtard’ YouTube videos

A Pennsylvania police chief who was suspended over a series of profane YouTube videos in which he fires county-owned guns and refers to Democrats as “libtards” was effectively fired Thursday evening.

Mark Kessler YouTube video screenshot

Mark Kessler YouTube video screenshot

The borough council of Gilberton, Pennsylvania. voted 6-1 to suspend Chief Mark Kessler pending termination after meeting with him at a disciplinary hearing earlier that day, according to the Allentown Morning Call

The videos show him in plain clothes firing automatic weapons while going on verbal tirades about gun rights.

“I think the video is in support of the Constitution — the support of the First Amendment, the right to express your thoughts and words freely without reprisal from any government,” Kessler told the Republican-Herald. “That’s why I used the vocabulary I did. As for the firing of the guns, that is my Second Amendment right. I have the right to keep and bear arms regardless of what the government says that I don’t.”

“You don’t see me going out and dragging people out of their vehicles and beating on them. You don’t see me doing anything like that,” he told the newspaper, comparing his videos to those that purport to show police brutality. “Did I use some vulgar language? Absolutely. Is it my right to do that? Absolutely. It’s the First Amendment. Did I fire off a gun? Absolutely.”

Kessler’s attorney, Joseph Nahas, told the newspaper that the council argued Kessler neglected official duties, did not properly hand over police weapons to the borough and disparaged council members, among other offenses. The council tried to avoid mentioning the YouTube videos that got Kessler suspended in their decision to fire him, Nahas said.

His law enforcement career may have a second act, however: Nahas said he will request a hearing on the council’s decision, while Kessler himself launched a write-in campaign for the local county sheriff’s office last week.

 

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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