Anthony Campo: Ohio police chief resigns after being caught placing KKK sign on Black officer's desk
Former Sheffield Lake police chief Anthony Campo claimed the incident was a prank
SHEFFIELD LAKE, OHIO: A White police chief in Ohio resigned after placing a 'Ku Klux Klan' sign on a Black police officer's desk. Sheffield Lake former police chief Anthony Campo later claimed that it was a prank. The so-called prank garnered a lot of criticism on social media as many called out Campo for placing the KKK sign.
Even Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring said that the incident was "so egregious I can't describe it". Campo reportedly stepped down on Tuesday, June 29, after city officials got to know of the incident which happened Friday June 25, 2021, according to a report in Cleveland.com.
Who is Anthony Campo?
The former Sheffield Lake police chief Anthony Campo had been with the department for 33 years before he stepped down from his position. He had reportedly served as the chief for eight years.
What happened that day?
In the surveillance video from inside the police station, one can see the chief printing out the sign, and then walking over the officer's desk and placing it on top of a yellow jacket laid out to resemble a KKK hood and robe.
When the Black officer returns to his desk to discover the sign, he appears to smile before engaging in conversation with the chief. However, there is no audio in the surveillance video to know what they are talking about. As per reports, the officer later told the mayor that he smiled because he was taken aback and didn't know what to do.
You can watch the video here:
Upon learning of the incident, Mayor Dennis Bring said that 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?'" As per the mayor, 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 reportedly 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." The mayor added, "This shouldn't happen anywhere. 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."
On social media too, people are livid. "So. On June 25th, Sheffield Lake Police department Police Chief Anthony Campo consciously printed out and strategically placed a “Ku Klux Klan” sign on a fellow Black male police officer's raincoat. All I want to know is did this KKK loving racist able to keep his pension???"
So. On June 25th, Sheffield Lake Police department Police Chief Anthony Campo consciously printed out and strategically placed a “Ku Klux Klan” sign on a fellow Black male police officer's raincoat. All I want to know is did this KKK loving racist able to keep his pension??? 🤬🤬 pic.twitter.com/PNKu2fyPuw— TaiLotus🥂 (@tnycngozi) July 2, 2021
People pointed out to the "White privilege" of the former police chief. "Resigned? How was he not fired and forfeited his pension?" Another said, "If he was allowed to ‘resign’ or ‘retire’, he will keep his pension. Only if involuntarily terminated would he lose his pension. If he appeals dismissal that could possibly delay his pension."
White privilege— MARIA FOWLER (@MS91292) July 2, 2021
If he was allowed to ‘resign’ or ‘retire’, he will keep his pension. Only if involuntarily terminated would he lose his pension. If he appeals dismissal that could possibly delay his pension— June Bennett (@JuneBen64939647) July 2, 2021
Some people pointed out that in the video, the police officer appears to be laughing after seeing Campo's "prank". "I want to hear more from the black officers ..: bc he laughed like it was cool," one wrote. To which another responded, "It's called defusing the situation. I know, it's really shocking to see a police officer do it, I was surprised too. I guess they hadn't trained that out of him yet."
It's called defusing the situation. I know, it's really shocking to see a police officer do it, I was surprised too. I guess they hadn't trained that out of him yet.— Public Bearwaves 🐻🎙️ (@PublicBearwaves) July 2, 2021