White Ohio police chief is forced to retire early after being caught on camera leaving a note with ‘Ku Klux Klan’ written on it and a raincoat fashioned as a robe on black officer’s desk
Sheffield Lake, Ohio, Police Chief Anthony Campo, 61, resigned after mayor gave him Campo 10 minutes to hand in his badge and keys to his police cruiser, and clear out
33-year dept. veteran Anthony Campo, 61, was caught on camera leaving a note with ‘Ku Klux Klan’ written on it and a raincoat fashioned as a robe on black officer’s desk
Sheffield Lake is a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio – The target of the Klan harassment had been with dept. only nine months was left in tears discussing the incident with Mayor Dennis Bring, who is also white
Campo was caught on video placing note saying ‘Ku Klux Klan’ on raincoat laid out to resemble KKK robe and hat on black officer’s desk
Police union representing the black officer filed a harassment complaint
Campo who had spent the last eight years as the Sheffield Lake police chief, earning more than $86,000 PA, showing no remorse, dismissed the incident as a prank and ‘police station antics’
‘Shame on him!’ said Mayor Bring, describing the incident as ’embarrassing and disgusting”
The police chief from a Cleveland suburb has taken an early retirement days after being caught on surveillance video placing a note saying ‘Ku Klux Klan’ and a raincoat displayed like a KKK robe and hood on a black officer’s desk.
Anthony Campo, 61, stepped down shortly after Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring confronted him on Tuesday.
Mayor Bring learned what happened from the city law director after the police union representing the black officer filed a harassment complaint.
Surveillance camera captured the incident which happened Friday June 25.
The video from the Sheffield Lake police station, which did not include sound, shows Campo last Friday standing at a printer, then carrying a small note with ‘Ku Klux Klan’ typed on it and putting it on the yellow police raincoat deliberately spread on the officer’s desk.
Sheffield Lake police chief is caught on camera leaving KKK message on Black officer’s jacket, inside the police station
When the officer enters the room and sees the display, he looks in the direction of Campo’s office. Video then shows the two talking briefly.
The officer removes the note from the coat, but then puts it back when two of his colleagues arrive. At least one of them appears to smile.
Mayor Bring said Campo, who is white, later told him it was supposed to be a prank. Bring called it ’embarrassing and disgusting.’
The mayor detailed his exchange with Campo to WKYC, saying that when he arrived in his office to confront him, the chief asked with a smile if he would be fired.
Bring said he gave Campo 10 minutes to hand in his badge and keys to his police cruiser, and clear the premises the office. During the tense conversation, the mayor said he asked the disgraced police chief whether he was ‘psychologically OK.’
Bring also revealed that beside printing the KKK note, Campo made a cone-shaped hat out of a newspaper and put in on his own head.
Video from June 25 shows Campo, seen in an orange shirt, printing the note and placing it on the police raincoat.
The target of the prank, who has been with the department under a year, was away from his desk at the time. When the target returns he is seen is seen looking in the direction of Campo’s office after noticing the racist display on his desk. Next the chief and the officer can be seen having a brief chat in the video, which has no audio.
Finally other officers arrive at the station and they are seen talking to their colleague about the note.
Campo then announced that he wanted to resign effective immediately, used his computer to type his resignation letter and left, Bring said.
Anthony Campo was a Sheffield Lake police officer for 33 years and chief for the last eight, earning an annual salary of $86,835.43. The black officer has been with the department for nine months.
It was unclear if resigning from the department instead of waiting for the city to force him out of the position would allow Campo to preserve any retirement benefits Campo accrued during his time with the department.
Bring said he and the officer cried during a conversation about what happened.
‘I apologized to him,’ Bring told cleveland.com.
‘This is not a mistake. This is something so egregious I can’t describe it.’
“He’s no longer an employee. The union who sent the paper (complaint) is satisfied with what we did. I can’t say that he’s not going to have other litigation, I don’t know,” the mayor said.
Campo dismissed the incident to a local newspaper as some ‘off-color comments’ and ‘police station antics.’
Campo also defended his record with the department, which he described as ‘spotless’ and ‘unblemished,’ The Chronicle reports.
In an interview with WKYC, former chief Campo doubled down that the note was meant to be a ‘joke,’ and said that he has great respect for the officer and was the one who hired him. He also stressed that he was not fired but retired.
The town mayor said he does not believe Campo realizes how bad his actions were.
‘Shame on him,’ Bring said.