Pennsylvania Police Chief Fired Months After Video Rants | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Pennsylvania Police Chief Fired Months After Video Rants

A Pennsylvania police chief who gained national attention for Internet videos in which he fired high-powered rifles while shouting obscenities against liberals, Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Nations has been fired.

The Gilberton, Pa., borough council voted to suspend Mark Kessler in July. On Thursday, lawmakers handed Kessler his pink slip.

In the profanity-laced YouTube videos, Kessler calls Kerry a "traitor" and challenges the United Nations to "come and take" his weapons. In another video, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats are the targets of his ire.

The Associated Press describes Kessler as someone "active in gun circles" who "started an armed group that critics call a private militia."

Speaking after the vote Thursday, Kessler said he wasn't surprised by the action.

"They already made their decision in July," he said. "They are just going through the steps."

He had argued that the videos posted online are protected free speech.

WFMZ-TV reported at the time of his original suspension that:

"The Council said it disciplined Kessler because the guns in the videos were owned by the borough and they were used without prior authorization. Kessler donated the weapons and the ammunition to the borough in January."

The AP says:

"Kessler told reporters that he had been an excellent police chief and had nothing to apologize for. He said he'd broken no laws: 'None. I'd be in handcuffs.'

"'My message was to wake up the people who are independents,' he said, to say, 'We've had enough and something needs to change, because we're in bad shape all around. Not only here in this little town but across the nation. It's a mess.' "

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

How'd A Cartoonist Sell His First Drawing? It Only Took 610 Tries

Tom Toro was a directionless 20-something film school dropout. Then, after an inspired moment at a used book sale, he started submitting drawings to The New Yorker ... and collecting rejection slips.
NPR

Will Environmentalists Fall For Faux Fish Made From Plants?

A handful of chefs and food companies are experimenting with fish-like alternatives to seafood. But the market is still a few steps behind plant-based products for meat and dairy.
NPR

Will We See Veto Battles On Capitol Hill?

With President Obama promising to vetoes, what are the possibilities of a few veto overrides during the next two years? NPR's Arun Rath puts that questions to the National Journal's Fawn Johnson.
NPR

3 Voices, 1 Threat: Personal Stories Of Cyberhacking

In President Obama's State of the Union address, he gave fresh emphasis to a problem that has been in the headlines: cybersecurity. Here are three people who have experienced security breaches.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.