The mayor of a small city in Alabama instructed a involved good friend that he was experiencing “darkish days” earlier than his suicide following a conservative weblog submit final week that he was cross-dressing.
Florida “Bubba” Copeland, the sheriff of Smith Station, shot himself in entrance of regulation enforcement final Friday, in line with the Lee County Sheriff’s Workplace. His demise got here two days after the 1819 Information web site revealed an article about his “secret life,” regardless of his request not to take action for the sake of his household and his position as a pastor in a church in Phoenix.
The precise-wing outlet, edited by Breitbert contributor Jeff Burr, revealed an preliminary story final Wednesday purporting to indicate social media accounts run by Copeland through which he recognized as a transgender girl and shared images of himself carrying ladies’s underwear. The company revealed one other story on the day of his demise alleging that he wrote violent novels and posted images on-line of individuals in his neighborhood with out their consent.
Phenix Metropolis Colleges Superintendent Larry DiChiara stated NBC News on Monday that he determined to contact Copeland after seeing individuals “relentlessly attacking him” after 1819 Information started publishing its articles.
“It was the day earlier than he died,” DiChiara stated. I stated: Dad, maintain your head up. You’re a good man with an important coronary heart. Always remember that. Name me should you want me.’” DiChiara stated Copeland thanked him and stated, “It’s been some darkish days.” DiChiara says he reassured his good friend that “it is going to move.”
Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones says Copeland contacted him final Wednesday within the wake of the primary article. “It was a good friend calling a good friend,” Jones stated. “Let’s simply say he was involved in regards to the article. I believe ‘upset’ can be a great way to place it.”
Authorities say a welfare verify was known as to the Sheriff’s Workplace on Friday, and two deputies discovered him driving on a county highway. Jones stated deputies tried to get him to cease for about 10 minutes earlier than Copeland obtained out of his automotive and killed himself. He added that regulation enforcement had “no thought” Copeland would do that. “It is tragic throughout,” he stated.
Copeland’s son “is taking it very onerous,” DiChiara stated. Copeland can be survived by his spouse and two daughters, in line with an obituary shared by his church Facebook page. In his newest tirade, delivered on Wednesday, Copeland stated he was “the goal of a cyber assault” and defined that he took “photos with my spouse within the privateness of our residence in an try and be humorous, as a result of I do know that ‘I am not a good-looking man and I am not a fairly girl both.’
He went on to apologize for “any embarrassment attributable to my personal and private life” and thanked individuals who had contacted him with messages of help. He added: “I like my household, they’re No. 1, and I’m as soon as once more sorry for what my actions precipitated.”
Ansley Summerlin, a hairstylist who knew Copeland when she lived in Alabama, instructed NBC Information that she discovered images of herself on social media that Copeland allegedly took and posted on-line. “I’ll say it gave me a number of nervousness and panic assaults,” she stated. “There are a number of feelings that include this. After studying these tales, with the names of the ladies I knew, it turned very upsetting.”
Smith Metropolis station stated in A Facebook statement Monday that she was “deeply saddened” by Copeland’s demise and known as him a “hero” for the realm who was “at all times excited to indicate off our metropolis to anybody who visits.” The assertion additionally stated that Mayor Professional Tem Maurice Jackson “instantly assumed the management position” following Copeland’s demise.
In case you or a beloved one are experiencing suicidal ideas, please contact the Nationwide Heart for Suicide Prevention by calling or texting 988.
(tags for translation) LGBT