Ohio police chief resigns after he's caught placing KKK sign — along with mock hood and robe — on Black officer's desk
Sheffield Lake police chief Anthony Campo in surveillance camera footage. (Screenshot)
July 02, 2021
A white police chief in Ohio has resigned after placing a "Ku Klux Klan" sign on a Black officer's desk, in what he claimed was a prank.
Sheffield Lake police chief Anthony Campo, who had been with the department for 33 years, stepped down Tuesday after city officials got wind of the incident that occurred last Friday, according to Cleveland.com.
A surveillance video from inside the police station shows the chief printing out the sign, before placing it on top of a yellow jacket laid out to resemble a KKK hood and robe. When the Black officer discovers the sign, he appears to smile before engaging in conversation with the chief, but there is no audio. The officer later told the mayor he smiled because he was taken aback and didn't know what to do.
Upon learning of the incident, Mayor Dennis Bring said he immediately went to Campo's office.
"I came into the chief's office, and he's standing there with a smile on his face," Bring said. "He goes, 'So, am I fired?'"
The mayor said he gave the chief 10 minutes to get out and told him he was being placed on administrative leave. At that point, Campo resigned.
"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 think this is a joke? This is the most egregious and offensive thing you could possibly do. And it's embarrassing and disgusting."
Bring also later met with the officer, who has hired an attorney.
"It took us 10 minutes to talk to each other because we both sat there crying," Bring said. "I apologized to him. I can't describe it in one word. This is not a mistake. This is something so egregious I can't describe it.
"This shouldn't happen anywhere," the mayor added. "You see this stuff on the news all the time, and you're thinking, 'How in the hell can somebody be that stupid?' It's out there. It's done. I don't even speak of his name right now. I told the officer that we can refer to him as 'ex-chief,' or 'ex-employee.' I don't even want to hear his name spoken in this department anymore."
Watch the surveillance video below.