In Ohio, Sheffield Lake Police Chief Anthony Campo, 61, was forced out of his job after being caught on video putting a Ku Klux Klan sign on a black officer’s desk.
The Sheffield Lake police station video from Friday, July 2, which does not feature sound, shows Campo standing at a printer last Friday, then bringing a small note with the words “Ku Klux Klan” printed on it and placing it on the yellow police raincoat spread on the officer’s desk.
When the cop walks into the room and sees the display, he immediately seeks Campo’s office. After that, the video shows the two briefly conversing.
The Ku Klux Klan, commonly shortened to the KKK or the Klan, is an American white supremacist terrorist hate group whose primary targets are African Americans and Jews, immigrants, leftists, homosexuals, Catholics, Muslims, and atheists.
The Ku Klux Klan has existed in three periods. White nationalism, anti-immigration, and—especially in later incarnations—Nordicism, antisemitism, anti-Catholicism, Prohibition, right-wing populism, anti-communism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and anti-atheism have all been promoted.
After the police union representing the black officer filed a harassment complaint, Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring heard what transpired through the city legal director.
When the mayor arrived in Campo’s office to address him, the chief asked with a smile if he would be fired, according to WKYC.
Bring stated that he gave Campo 10 minutes to surrender his badge and keys to his police cruiser and clear the office.
The mayor says he asked the disgraced police chief whether he was ‘psychologically OK’ during the tense chat.
“He thought this was just a joke,” Bring said. “How can you possibly think that you can put something on somebody’s jacket like that, and especially if they were African American, and believe this is a joke?
“This is the most egregious and offensive thing you could possibly do. And it’s embarrassing and disgusting,” Bring told Cleveland.com.
Following the incident, Bring said he spoke with the officer to apologize for Campo’s behavior, reported NY Post.
“It took us 10 minutes to even talk to each other because we were both very emotional,” he said. “And I apologized to him. We talked about the situation and he told me a little bit more. I was just flabbergasted. There’s no one word to explain how disgusting this is.”
Campo, who served as Chief for eight years, has worked for the city for more than 30 years. He said that he was not fired but retired and had high regard for the officer he hired who was the butt of the “joke.”
He claims that the incident has been exaggerated, he respected the targeted officer and that the event was “overblown,” and that it was part of off-color humor.
Campo claims that the officer targeted with the memo did not file a complaint but that someone else did. He said that several members of the 14-person department were out to get him because of disciplinary proceedings taken against them in the past, reported WKPC.
The mayor said there are no excuses for the former chief’s actions. He said he’s spoken to most city hall workers and warned them that racism would not be tolerated in Sheffield Lake.