Brownsville Chief Responds to "Whites Only" Photo

Erica Williams

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn- A West Tennessee police chief apologized after a photo circulated of him holding up a piece of paper that some residents called racist.

Wednesday night, an anonymous person sent out a photo of Brownsville Police Chief, Chris Lea, holding a piece of paper with the words "Whites Only" written on it.

Hours after the photo circulated, Chief Lea posted a message on his personal Facebook page, saying that he had picked the 'wadded up' piece of paper off the floor of his funeral home. He said the photo was taken three years ago around friends, one of whom was African American.

"I apologize to anyone in the community who was offended or hurt by the misleading photo," Lea said.

His Facebook explanation was followed by responses from many friends and residents, who said he is not racist.

"People that were around him might have known that he was playing, but people just hearing about it may have thought that he did it in a mean way," said Harley Hendrix, a Brownsville resident.

There are mixed reactions in the community about Lea's photo.So far, Chief Lea's Facebook explanation about the post has more than 150 likes.


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