Another day, another racist action by an American police officer. According to NBC affiliate WKYC of Cleveland, the Sheffield Lake Police Department in Ohio has greatly embarrassed themselves as its longtime chief was caught on surveillance video printing a note reading “Ku Klux Klan” and placing it on a Black officer’s raincoat.
Confirmed by Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring, who was also made aware of the incident, Chief Anthony Campo was identified as the culprit and was placed on administrative leave pending a review of the video. “I said, ‘I don’t want to even hear about it,’” Bring said, describing his conversation with Campo. “I said, ‘You’ve have already admitted to it.’ And I [also] 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.’”
Bring met with the offended officer following the incident to apologize for Campo’s actions, and according to him, the officer is declining to speak and has retained a lawyer for possible action.
The footage captured Campo standing at the department’s copier and placing the Ku Klux Klan printout on the coat. Created in the South after the Civil War to continue the assertion of white supremacy, there have been long standing views that the Klan infiltrated the police unions and departments ever since its formation.
Campo, in speaking with WKYC in a phone interview, shared that he retired shortly after being placed on leave and added that the note was meant to be an “off-color joke” that was “overblown” since he has great respect for the offended officer, whom he hired.
The Black Sheffield Lake officer has not had his name or identity released.