Anthony Campo Sheffield Lake Police Chief resigns after putting Klu Klux Klan sign on black officer’s desk. Veteran cop insists incident caught on video was just a prank.
Trusting the police force when the top guy plays racist jokes….
An Ohio police chief has resigned after video surveillance captured him (see below) leave what later turned out to be a racist note on the desk of a newly employed black officer according to reports.
Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring announced Police Chief Anthony Campo resigning on Tuesday following the incident which took place inside the department’s booking last Friday.
Campo, who had been with the department for 33 years and who’d served as chief for eight, was seen in the video walking into a room with a piece of paper in his hand reading, ‘Ku Klux Klan.’ Footage shows him walk to a desk and place the note on a yellow jacket laid out to resemble the infamous hood and robe synonymous with the infamous KKK white supremacist group.
Campo then walks out of the room to wait for the un-identified black officer, to come into the room.
Traumatized black officer
The officer, who started working for the department nine months ago, walks in and sees the message. It is unclear what the officer and Campo say to one another as the video has no audio. Other people come into the frame and chat with the officer.
Bring said Campo told him the offensive note was a prank.
‘He thought this was just a joke,’ Bring said according to Cleveland. ‘How can you possibly think that you can put something on somebody’s jacket like that, and especially if they were African American, and think this is a joke? This is the most egregious and offensive thing you could possibly do. And it’s embarrassing and disgusting.’
Bring said the un-identified officer told him while he may have looked like he was laughing in the video, he was very uncomfortable and didn’t know how to react.
‘We had a very emotional sit down because it took us 10 minutes to talk to each other because we were both crying,’ Bring said.
Sheffield Lake Law Director David Graves brought the incident to Bring’s attention Tuesday and characterized it to the mayor as ‘really serious.’
The union that represents the police brought a harassment complaint to Graves’ office. Bring went straight to Campo’s office after learning about the incident.
What’s in a joke?
‘I came into the chief’s office, and he’s standing there with a smile on his face,’ Bring said. ‘He goes, ‘So, am I fired?’’
Graves showed Campo the complaint. Bring told him he had 10 minutes to get out of the office and that he would be on administrative leave until further notice.
Campo in turn announced his immediate resignation, with the police chief using his computer to type his resignation letter and leaving, Bring said.
Campo earned a yearly salary of $86,835.43, and it’s unclear as of Friday if resigning from the department instead of waiting for the city to force him out of the position would allow Campo to preserve any retirement benefits Campo accrued during his time with the department.
Of note, the officer who received the inappropriate message retained an attorney since the incident WOIO reported. Bring is unsure whether the officer plans to file suit but noted he would back the officer if he were to seek further action against Campo.
‘It was just a joke that got out of hand,’ Campo told WEWS during a request for media comment.
Sgt. Shawn Corr is currently acting chief for the department, Bring said.