In a terrible showing of managerial abuse and racism, a police chief in a small northern Ohio town is accused of leaving a racist note on a Black officer’s coat as a “joke” — seemingly oblivious to the security camera filming the entire incident.
Nicole Acevedo of NBC News has reported that “surveillance video from the Sheffield Lake Police Department in Ohio shows the longtime chief printing a note reading “Ku Klux Klan” and placing it on a Black officer’s raincoat.”
According to Acevedo, “Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring said he was made aware of the incident, which occurred last week, by the police union. Chief Anthony Campo was immediately placed on administrative leave pending a review of the video.”
In an interview with NBC-affiliated WKYC of Cleveland, Bring said he told Campo that the chief’s actions were so inappropriate that it didn’t even warrant further discussion or explanation.
“I said, ‘You’ve already admitted to it. You’ve got 10 minutes to get out of this office. I want your keys, badge and that’s it. Get out,’” Bring said, recalling his conversation with the disgraced chief.
The mayor then met with the Black officer who had received the note to apologize for Campo’s actions.
“It took us 10 minutes to even talk to each other because we were both very emotional,” Bring 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.”
For his part, Campo claimed in an interview with WKYC that the note was merely “off-color” humor that went horribly wrong. He also added that he had great respect for the officer he had given the note to and was even responsible for hiring him.
Campo was a 30-year veteran of the Sheffield Lake police force, serving as the department’s police chief for the last eight years. When the mayor told Campo he was being placed on leave for his actions, he decided to retire instead, effectively ending his career with the department.
“Officials in Sheffield Lake, a city about 25 miles west of Cleveland, have not released the name of the officer involved,” Acevedo reported. “According to Bring, the officer is declining to speak and has retained a lawyer for possible action.”