An Ohio police chief has left his job after he was caught on camera leaving a piece of paper with the words “Ku Klux Klan” on a Black officer’s raincoat.
Sheffield Lake police chief Anthony Campo printed out a note bearing the name of the hate group using a machine in the department on Friday, according to video obtained by WKYC.
Campo then placed it on the officer’s yellow raincoat shortly before he entered the room.
The station reported that Campo left work after being confronted by Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring on Tuesday.
Bring said he spoke to Campo after being made aware of the racist incident by the police union.
He said he immediately put Campo on administrative leave while waiting to review the video, which was captured on a camera in the station’s booking area.
“I said I don’t want to even hear about it,” Bring told WKYC of his conversation with Campo.
“I said you’ve already admitted to it. I 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 said Campo also made a cone out of a newspaper and placed it on himself. “He made a comment that ‘You’re going to have to wear this for the shift,” the mayor said. That incident was not captured on video, according to the station.
Campo, who had been Sheffield Lake’s police chief for the past eight years and with the department for 33, told media outlets that he was not fired, but had retired.
He claimed the incident was being “overblown” and that he respects the officer he targeted.
Campo claimed that he doesn’t believe the officer, who he hired, was the one who complained and alleged others in the department were retaliating for past disciplinary action.
“Somebody heard a blowing-off-steam session,” he added to the Chronicle-Telegram. “Somebody saw and heard some stuff that they reported to the union.”
City officials have not identified the officer involved.
But Bring said he had an emotional meeting with the officer and personally apologized for Campo’s actions, which he branded “disgusting.”
“We talked about it and as we did, he told me more about it. I was flabbergasted,” Bring said. “There’s no one word to explain how disgusting this is.”
Bring and the police union have been contacted for additional comment. Campo could not immediately be reached for comment.