- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2020

RIPLEY, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee sheriff admitted that he used a racial slur on a recording that prompted a peaceful protest and calls for his resignation.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Steve Sanders confirmed that it was his voice on the recent recording and he plans an apology to the community of about 25,000 people.

“I’m going to apologize Friday to all the citizens in the county, because they’re good people,” Sanders told WREG-TV on Wednesday. “I got a lot of black friends, I got a lot of enemies, as any sheriff would, but I apologize to all of them.”

A social media post of the recording led to calls for Sanders to resign, news outlets reported.

“I’m really shocked to hear what he said, the racial slurs,” Lauderdale County resident Lindsey Stovel told WMC-TV.

Stovel and Tiffany Driver were among about 40 people who protested by holding signs along the highway Tuesday in front of the sheriff’s office.

“We’re tired. We’re so tired. We had so much respect for this man. So many of us voted for him,” Driver said.

Sanders said “normal people” don’t want him to resign.

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