An Ohio police chief was forced to retire early this week after he was caught leaving a racist sign on the desk of a black colleague. Anthony Campo worked for the Sheffield Lake Police Department for 33 years but was forced to leave after he was caught on surveillance video printing out the words “Ku Klux Klan” on the department’s copier and leaving it on a yellow raincoat that he folded to look like one of the hate group’s signature hoods.
The officer Campo targeted immediately reported the incident. The police union then contacted Mayor Dennis Bring, who immediately put Campo on administrative leave while the internal investigation was held.
Mayor Bring was incredibly upset about Campo’s racist behavior. Upon confronting Campo, Bring became incensed by the chief’s careless behavior. “The chief was standing in his office,” Bring said. “He made a joke, ‘Am I gonna get fired over this?’ And I looked at the law director, and I handed him his paper, and he says, ‘After 30 years, this is what I get?’ I said, ‘You have 10 minutes to get out of your office.’”
Instead of being fired, Campo was allowed to retire with all of his benefits. While this kind of hateful behavior should be penalized, Campo was instead allowed to resign and retire rather than being fired and charged with a hate crime. “My view of it is that it was an extremely poor decision of somebody who thought this was a complete joke and didn’t have the understanding of the magnitude of what he has done,” Bring told local CBS affiliate WOIO. “I don’t care, and somebody’s made a comment in this day and age it doesn’t matter this day and age, or if it was 40 years ago, that is the most inappropriate thing you can do to an African American. I don’t care; that was just totally offensive.”
Campo claimed it was all one big joke. He pulled the classic “I can’t be racist because ___” card and mentioned that he’s the one who originally hired the officer he targeted. “It was just a joke that got out of hand,” Campo said. “I hired that officer on the force, he’s excellent with children, and I helped to save his job after he was in danger of being let go by another department due to age restrictions.” Well, don’t you deserve a gold medal!
The officer Campo targeted will remain with the force. Bring said he personally apologized to the officer in question for what happened and the conversation became emotional, WKYC reports. “It took us 10 minutes to even talk to each other because we were both so emotional,” Bring recalled. “I apologized. We talked about it and as we did, he told me more about it. I was flabbergasted. There’s no one word to explain how disgusting this is.”