Surveillance video from the Sheffield Lake Police Department in Ohio shows the longtime chief printing a note that says “Ku Klux Klan” and placing it on a black officer’s raincoat, according to the city’s mayor.
Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring said he was made aware of the incident, which took place last week, by the police union. Chief Anthony Campo was immediately placed on administrative leave pending a review of the video, Bring said Cleveland NBC Affiliate WKYC.
“I said, ‘I don’t even want to hear about it,” Bring said, describing his conversation with Campo. “I said,’ You already admitted that. ‘ And I said, ‘You have 10 minutes to get out of this office.’ I said, “I want your keys, your badge and that’s it. Get out.” “
Bring said he also met with the officer after the incident to apologize for Campo’s actions.
“It took us 10 minutes to talk to each other because we were both very emotional,” he said. “And I apologized to him. We talked about the situation and he told me a little more about it. I was just stunned. There isn’t a single word to explain how bad it is. disgusting.”
The footage, which was obtained by the news station, captured Campo standing in front of the department’s copier and placing the Klan print on the coat. The KKK was a secret society organized in the South after the Civil War to assert white supremacy, often using violence.
Campo told the WKYC in a telephone interview that he retired shortly after being put on leave. He added that what was supposed to be part of a colorless joke is “overkill” and that he has great respect for the officer he hired, according to the news channel.
NBC News’ efforts to reach Campo and the Police Union on Saturday failed.
Officials in Sheffield Lake, a town about 25 miles west of Cleveland, have not disclosed the name of the officer involved. According to Bring, the officer refuses to speak and has retained a lawyer for possible action.
Campo spent three decades in the police force and became chief eight years ago.