An Ohio police chief has retired after 30 years on the force after a surveillance video showed him placing a note reading “Ku Klux Klan” on a Black police officer’s desk.
Surveillance video shows Sheffield Lake Police Chief Anthony Campo printing out a note saying, “Ku Klux Klan,” and arranging it on a yellow raincoat laying on a desk, covering up the word “POLICE.” A Black officer then enters the room, sees the note and appears to laugh it off, but the video does not include audio so it is not clear what was said.
Mr. Campo, who became chief eight years ago, was initially placed on administrative leave pending a review of the video, Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring told NBC affiliate WKYC.
“I said, ‘I don’t want to even hear about it,” Mr. Bring recalled telling Mr. Campo. “I said, ‘You’ve already have admitted to it.’ And I said, ‘You’ve got 10 minutes to get out of this office.’ I said, ‘I want your keys, badge and that’s it. Get out.’ “
Mr. Bring said he personally apologized to the Black officer, who has not been named.
“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.”
Mr. Campo told WKYC that he chose to retire shortly after he was placed on leave and that the situation, which he described as a joke, was being “overblown.” He has great respect for the officer, whom he hired, and believes it’s someone else who complained about him, he told the station.
“He knows what he did,” the mayor fired back, WKYC reported. “He’s playing it off. I don’t think he fathoms how bad this is. Shame on him. I hope he gets what he deserves.”