GILBERTON, Pa. - Is it freedom of speech, or an online video that goes too far?
That's what a Schuylkill County borough is trying to decide after its police chief posted some profanity-laced rants.
The tirades, compete with a barrage of bullets from assault rifles, is part of Gilberton Borough Chief of Police Mark Kessler's YouTube posts.
Kessler, who also formed his own civilian militia which he says protects the constitution, is on the local school board and is a gun rights and first amendment advocate.
But in one post he seemingly threatens Secretary of State John Kerry for a UN treaty on arms.
"It wasn't a threat. It was, 'if you want them come and take them,'" Kessler said over the phone.
He said he was simply using his first and second amendment rights.
"I wasn't in uniform. So I was only representing myself," Kessler said.
Gilberton resident and mother of five Diane McCarthy calls the videos disturbing.
"I think that kind of position needs to have respect of the community. It's pretty difficult to have respect after seeing that," she said.
Many online comments agree; some are even calling for his termination.
Gilberton Mayor Mary Lou Hennon said she's hearing it too.
"I know a lot of people were offended by this video. I find the language myself offensive," she said.
Borough Councilman Eric Boxter called the videos "over the top" and "unnacceptable" for a police chief.
But Hennon says at this time there are no plans to reprimand Kessler.
"He did not do it on borough time, or in uniform. We have no conduct rules for what anyone does outside the borough," she added.
The school board and school district each had no comment.
But Mayor Hennon said council will discuss the videos during their next meeting.
Allentown, PA 18102