FRACKVILLE — Gilberton Police Chief Mark Kessler is shown firing a weapon and using a string of profanity in a recently posted YouTube video.
Kessler is on vacation this week and spoke with Newswatch 16 by phone. He said he made the video because he believes his First Amendment right to free speech and his Second Amendment right to bear arms are being threatened.
People all over Schuylkill County and beyond are talking about it.
Frackville is close to Gilberton and people we spoke with there were shocked.
“He was obnoxious, it soured my stomach when I saw it and then he comes on with this stupid apology, I mean I don’t even know what it was about,” said Jerry Piakowski of Frackville.
Gilberton’s mayor told Newswatch 16 she is standing by the police chief and his right to say what he wants.
The video is being watched again and again by folks who said he may have that right, but as a police chief he should be held to a higher standard.
“I would look up to him, normally and now that upsets me that he would do something like that and shoot off a gun and use profanity, I’m sorry. That just doesn’t belong here,” said Nancy Sawka of Frackville.
“Kids are going to look at that and this is somebody they are supposed to be looking up to, it’s just a little shocking. It’s too much. It’s entirely too much,” said Bill Horan.
Kessler is not just the police chief in Gilberton. He is also a school director in the North Schuylkill School District.
“If the school board doesn’t do anything about this, all of them should go, every one, from the president down. He doesn’t belong anywhere near our children,” said Piakowski.