COLUMBUS, Ohio – A police officer who resigned last month amid an uproar over homemade Web videos disparaging blacks, Jews and other minorities said she's shocked that some labeled her a racist.
"I've never been a racist, it's not in my heart," Susan Purtee told Columbus television station WBNS.
In videos posted on YouTube.com, Purtee and her sister refer to blacks, Jews, Cubans and illegal immigrants as "filthy" and accuse Jews of abusing their positions within the media and entertainment industries.
Purtee, a 15-year patrol officer, was initially reassigned to a desk job in late August after the videos came to light and were condemned by city officials. She announced her resignation Sept. 14. Her sister, Barbara Gordon-Bell of Parkland, Fla., said the two were just having fun but also made the videos to reveal the truth about America.
In the television interview, Purtee said she stood by her remarks, though maybe she could have softened them.
"You try to do something you think is good for America, and you try to warn people that you're taken advantage of by the media, and then someone turns around and they go to the lowest level and try to say you're a racist," Purtee said. "It was a shock, it never entered our minds."
Purtee could not be reached for further comment Monday. A recording indicated her phone number in suburban Grove City is now unlisted.
The sisters posted a new series of YouTube videos over the weekend in which Purtee accuses a Columbus police organization called The Cross and Shield of being racist because its Web site shows only blacks attending its meetings.
In the new videos, Purtee also claims the police department ignored an internal affairs complaint she filed charging that Cross and Shield leaders violated department rules by giving media interviews criticizing her over the earlier videos.
Sgt. Rich Weiner, a police spokesman, said he was unaware of any complaint filed by Purtee. Weiner said since Purtee is no longer an employee, the police department would not comment on anything further she has to say.
A message seeking comment was left Monday for The Cross and Shield Police Association.