Buckles the Bear (center) flanked by a pair of fellow Louisiana State Troopers.

State Police Suspend Buckles the Bear for Racial Slur

The Louisiana State Police mascot responsible for encouraging kids to buckle up has been suspended after reportedly using a racial epithet while on duty.

State Police Public Affairs Commander Captain Doug Cain said public safety information officer and anthropomorphic panda Buckles the Bear was suspended without pay for 20 days last week after an investigation revealed the adorable mascot had used a racial slur during a visit to a Baton Rouge school.

Buckles, who is mostly white, made the remarks among a group of teachers that included a black instructor.

Cain said the incident occurred earlier this spring at Claiborne Elementary following a presentation in which Buckles explained to students the importance of fastening their seat belts while riding in automobiles.

Buckles the Bear (center) flanked by a pair of fellow Louisiana State Troopers.
Buckles the Bear (center) flanked by a pair of fellow Louisiana State Troopers.

The bear was reportedly outside smoking a cigarette when he complained, “It’s my birthday, my girlfriend just texted she wants to blow me, and I’m over here telling a bunch of dumbass niggers to fasten their goddam seat belts.”

Buckles, who is mostly white, made the remarks among a group of teachers that included a black instructor.

State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson suspended Buckles as a result of the incident and ordered that he attend a diversity training course.

“This type of unacceptable behavior relegates anyone from the ranks of quintessential professional mascot to that of an insensitive, arrogant, and callous egotist in a bear suit,” Edmonson wrote in Buckles’ letter of suspension.

The mascot admitted to using the racial epithet, adding that he quickly apologized to the teachers present. Buckles told investigators the slur was a “slip of the tongue,” explaining he “meant to say dumbass negroes.”RedShtick-Top-ColumnStop

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