Business owner apologizes for using racist slur in confrontation caught on video

    Jeffrey Whitman is apologizing for calling a black man the n-word several times in a confrontation caught on video (WSYX/WTTE)

    A Central Ohio business owner is apologizing for calling a black man the n-word several times while confronting him after he thought he was cut off while driving.

    Charles Lovett recorded the confrontation with Jeffrey Whitman, the owner of Uriahs Heating and Cooling, outside of his home Tuesday morning. On the video, Whitman - who was driving a company vehicle at the time - tells Lovett "I just want to tell you what a n***** you are."

    He's also heard telling Lovett he's a "rude n*****" and that he's entitled as they argue over whether Lovett had cut off Whitman.

    In a statement, Whitman said

    "To Charles Lovett and the community,
    I apologize for my use of the n word towards Charles Lovett on Tuesday, July 24th. I understand that using the n-word was not only hurtful towards Lovett as an individual, but hurtful towards the Black community at large. Using the word was dehumanizing, unacceptable, and inexcusable. My actions reflect an unhealthy mindset I have developed and I need to work to change. I have served the Black community for the last 9 years, installing furnaces and water heaters with pride. My actions that day are not a reflection of my feelings towards the Black community. I also understand that racial tensions in America are higher than before, and I regret my part in contributing to that tension. I realize that words are hollow without action, and because of the hurt I have caused, I hope I have the opportunity to give back to the Black community that I have harmed in a meaningful way."

    When contacted by ABC 6/FOX 28 Tuesday, Whitman didn't want to speak on camera but said in a phone call he regretted it and "I lost my head."

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