Alleged race-baiting Ohio Police Chief Anthony Campo, retired within hours after the video chronicling his harassment of minority colleagues surfaced, but his actions could cost the dept. dearly
The black cop who had ‘Ku Klux Klan’ note left on his desk by his white boss, Campo, has filed discrimination charge and stating that he was repeatedly targeted in racist incidents
City of Sheffield Lake Officer, Keith Pool, filed the charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission on Thursday, an initial step for preparing a lawsuit
The race-baiting antics of Chief Campo made headlines after he was caught on video placing note saying ‘Ku Klux Klan’ on Pool’s raincoat last June
The former police chief is also accused of making a ‘pointy Ku Klux Klan hat’ and wore it in front of Pool and other employees
Pool claims the harassment dates back to his hiring, citing several instances of alleged racial discrimination that occurred early on in his employment
He says Campo at Halloween circulated an image where his face was photoshopped on the Grim Reaper’s body that Campo captioned ‘the raccoon reaper’
Pool’s complaint also claims that Campo targeted the division’s only Latino officer by sharing a picture of that officer’s face on a salsa logo
The black Ohio police officer who received Ku Klux Klan notes from his white boss has filed a discrimination charge against his employer, the City of Sheffield Lake Police Department, alleging the department did nothing to ameliorate the toxic work environment.
Officer Keith Pool filed a discrimination charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, an initial step for preparing a lawsuit – with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission on Thursday alleging that former Sheffield Lake Police Chief Anthony Campo harassed him on an ‘ongoing basis’ because of his race and that other superior officers with knowledge of the incidents refused to step in.
Pool’s attorneys also filed a petition with the state Supreme Court to compel the police department to provide records that they say will demonstrate a pattern of race-based harassment involving Campo.
Pool, 57, a 20-year veteran of law enforcement says the harassment even before he joined the the city’s police department.
Tony Campo hastily retired over the summer after he was caught on surveillance video placing a small note reading ‘Ku Klux Klan’ over the ‘police’ label on a raincoat that was on Pool’s desk.
The former police chief allegedly, also made a ‘pointy Ku Klux Klan hat’ and wore it in front of Pool and other employees, according to the complaint. Campo also told Pool he had to wear the hat during his shift.
In addition to the discrimination charge, Pool’s attorneys have filed a petition with the Ohio Supreme Court compelling the Cleveland-suburb police department to provide public records that they say will demonstrate Campo’s alleged pattern of race-based harassment.
Pool alleges that Campo never wanted him to join the department and began his harassment even before he started work.
The first incident happened before he even started work last year.
Instead of sending Pool a picture of his new patrol car, Campo sent him a photo of a vehicle on 20-inch rims with tinted windows, Pool said. “It said ‘Officer Pool, SRO,’” said Pool, who has been a police officer for 20 years and was previously a school resource officer.
He added: “It threw me. What is he talking about? What is this about?”
Even so, Pool joined the department.
The serial race-baiting antics extended to creating ‘racially offensive images mocking me’ which he then shared with other employees and on department bulletin boards, Pool said.
Around Halloween Campo pinned a photo of the Grim Reaper on the bulletin board. Pool’s face was photoshopped on the Grim Reaper’s body in the picture, which read underneath, “The raccoon reaper.”
Things came to head when on July 25, 2021, Campo was recorded placing the KKK note and hat on Pool’s raincoat.
The video from the Sheffield Lake police station, which did not include sound, shows Campo standing at a department printer, then carrying the note over and deliberately placing it on the jacket.
When the officer entered the room and sees the display, he looks in the direction of Campo’s office. The video then shows the two cops talking briefly.
Pool removes the note from the coat, but then puts it back to show two of his colleagues, both white.
‘It was not funny to them,’ Pool told NBC News Thursday – the first time he has ever spoken publicly about the surveillance footage and alleged harassment.
‘They walked away from it.’
He added: ‘It was so demeaning. It was so disrespectful to me.’
Pool, who had been with the department for just nine months at the time, was away from his desk at the time Campo left the note. At the time of the incident, Campo told Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring said Campo, it was supposed to be a prank. Bring on the other hand, called the behavior of his chief law enforcement officer ’embarrassing and disgusting.’
Meanwhile, Pool’s attorney Ashlie Case Sletvold in a statement released Thursday said: ‘The brave men and women like Officer Pool who put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities should not have to endure racial harassment at work.
‘We will hold the City, its officials, and the former chief accountable for this shocking misconduct.’
Keith Pool was hired with Sheffield Lake police in September 2020 after having been courted by Mayor Bring in 2019.
He was the first black officer to be hired with the department, which has 14 officers: ‘There was no African Americans applying there,’ Pool said.
Keith Pool taking the preliminary step towards in preparing for a lawsuit, filed a the charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission outlining the alleged harassment in the city of Sheffield Lake Police Dept.
However, he claims Campo originally tried blocking his employment.
‘He told a detective ‘absolutely not,” Pool explained. ‘He didn’t want me over there in the first place.’
The officer also alleges that Campo’s racially-based targeting began before his first day on the force.
‘Other police division employees have told me that before I was hired, Mr. Campo interfered with my application and recruitment process and said in the presence of multiple employees that he would never ‘hire a n****r,” Pool wrote in the discrimination complaint.
He still doesn’t understand why Campo sent him a photo of a vehicle with 20-inch wheel rims and tinted windows instead of a photo of his new squad car, or why he received the ‘raccoon reaper’ note around Halloween.
Pool claims that Campo also targeted the second black officer hired at the department when the pair was sitting in a patrol car.
Campo allegedly approached them and said, according to Pool: ‘It looked like y’all’s windows are tinted.’
‘The windows were open,’ Pool explained.
The complaint also claims that Campo targeted the division’s only Latino officer, citing an instance where he attached a image of the officer’s face to a salsa logo.
Additionally, Pool claims that several department members knew about the alleged harassment and failed to intervene. ‘A lot of people knew about him,’ Pool said. ‘Nothing was done.’