An Ohio police chief was demanded to leave his post last week after surveillance video captured him leaving a “Ku Klux Klan” sign on a Black officer’s raincoat. In the video, Sheffield Lake Police Chief Anthony Campo printed out the sign with the white supremacist group’s name on it shortly before the unnamed Black officer entered the room. Campo told a local news outlet it was part of a joke.
“I said I didn’t even want to hear about it,” Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring told WKYC. “I said ‘You got ten minutes to get out of your office. You already admitted to it. I want your keys and badge. That’s it. Get out,” Bring added. According to the news outlet, Bring was made aware of the incident by the police union and immediately put Campo on administrative leave while an investigation was launched. Bring spoke with the officer to apologize for Campo’s actions.
“It took us 10 minutes to even talk to each other because we were both so emotional,” Bring explained. “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.”
Campo has been with the Sheffield Lake Police Department, located about 25 miles west of Cleveland, for over 30 years and became chief eight years ago. In a phone interview with WKYC, Campo said the incident is being “overblown” and that he doesn’t believe the officer he left the note for is the one who reported it. The former chief said he thinks other members of the department wanted to get him out of his position because of past disciplinary actions taken against them.
Mayor Bring said there’s no excuses for what Campo did.
“He knows what he did,” Bring said. “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,” Bring said.