Protestors demand resignation after Lauderdale County sheriff admits to using n-word in recording

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Tenn. — A community is outraged after a sheriff admitted to using a racial slur after it caught on a recording.

People hosted an all-day protest Thursday outside Lauderdale County Sheriff Steve Sanders’ house demanding he resign.

Their outrage comes after Sanders was caught on an audio recording using a racial slur while on the job and talking about a case. 

WREG’s Shay Arthur confronted the sheriff Wednesday.

Shay: “So you did say the n-word?

Sheriff Sanders: “I did. I won’t tell you no lie about it.”

Shay: “Are you racist?”

Sheriff Sanders: “No. I am not racist.”

Shay: “Then why did you say that?”

Sheriff: “What?”

Shay: “Why did you say that word then?”

Sheriff: “It just slipped out.”

Shay: “How does it just slip out?”

Sheriff: “I don’t say it every day. I don’t say that.”

“It’s very hurtful, especially for someone that you looked up to and admired,” protest organizer Tiffany Driver said.

Driver has lived in Lauderdale County her whole life. She said she even voted for the sheriff.

She’s part of a growing number of people calling for his resignation.

“Do you think an apology is good enough? For people who really trust you and look up to you?,” WREG’s Shay Arthur asked.

“Well I hope it is,” Sheriff Sanders said.

“Well, what if it’s not? Because they want you to resign,” Shay asked.

“No, no, normal people don’t want me to resign,” Sheriff Sanders said.

“Who are normal people?” Driver said. “We consider ourselves as normal people, so him saying that was just a disgrace.”

Sanders issued an apology on Friday, saying “This incident was out of character for me and it is not an indicator of who I am, how I conduct business, how I live, or how I was raised.”

“Respectfully, I would like to offer my sincere apology to every resident of Lauderdale County, especially to the African American residents.”

“I have always treated the people of this county fairly and impartially and I will continue to do so.”

“I got black kids, so my babies are mixed,” protester Rebecca London said. “I’m scared for my babies to be in this world right now.”

Protestors said they’re not going to let this case go.

“We’re going to start with him and make an example out of him,” London said.

Protesters said they plan to demonstrate again Friday.

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