An Ohio police chief has stepped down after leaving a ‘Ku Klux Klan’ sign on a black officer’s desk. The alleged ‘prank’ prompted a harassment complaint and condemnation from the local mayor.
Anthony Campo, who served for eight years as the chief of police for Sheffield Lake, Ohio, was captured on surveillance video as he approached the empty desk of his black subordinate with a piece of paper reading, “Ku Klux Klan.” The improvised KKK sign was then placed on the back of a yellow jacket, which was positioned to resemble the hate group’s infamous hooded robe.
The ex-police chief exits the room and waits for his target to arrive. Moments later, the black officer, who started working for the force less than a year ago, walks in and spots the indelicate note. Campo then appears and the pair exchange words. It’s unclear what was discussed as the security footage has no audio. Eventually, other officers wander in and begin talking with their black colleague.
It seems that the black officer did not find the incident amusing. His police union filed a harassment complaint with the city, prompting Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring to confront the police chief.
According to Bring, Campo thought it was all “just a joke” and was unrepentant when approached about his behavior.
“I came into the chief’s office, and he’s standing there with a smile on his face,” Bring told local media. “He goes, ‘So, am I fired?’”
The mayor took exception to the idea that the incident was a harmless prank, describing Camp’s actions as “embarrassing and disgusting.” Bring said that he spoke with the targeted officer and that they both cried as they discussed what had happened. The black officer was so shocked by Campo’s behavior that he could only smile because he didn’t know what else to do, according to the mayor.
Campo was informed that he would be placed on administrative leave until further notice. Instead of submitting to an inquiry into his ‘joke’, the police chief chose to immediately resign.
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