A Pennsylvania police chief who recorded profanity-ridden YouTube videos in which he fired automatic weapons and railed against Democrats on gun issues was handed a 30-day suspension Wednesday night.
The Allentown Morning Call reported that Borough Council members in Gilberton voted to suspend Chief Mark Kessler for a month without pay for using the town’s guns in the viral videos.
Kessler emerged from the private meeting with council members telling a mixed crowd of gun rights advocates that the council was “bowing to political pressure” and that there are “no policies in place in Gilberton to govern” his actions in the videos, according to the newspaper.
Kessler is the only police officer in the borough of fewer than 800 residents, according to the Morning Call, and will be replaced by state police during his suspension.
The police chief’s videos sparked controversy for his flagrant attacks against Democrats, whom he called “libtards,” and Democratic politicians like Secretary of State John Kerry and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the latter of whom he visualized as a shooting target in one training video.
“Kessler’s video was produced to threaten and intimidate,” Michael Morrill, the executive director of advocacy group Keystone Progress and who is calling for Kessler’s termination, told the Morning Call. “People who are registered Democrats cannot expect to be treated fairly because Kessler doesn’t even want to call them people because that’s being too kind. He calls liberals ‘libtards’ and says the Founding Fathers would be shooting them if they were alive today.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.