Ohio

Who is Anthony Campo? Ohio Police, Career, Racism Claims, Resignation

Ohio police officer resigns after putting KKK sign on black officers desk

Anthony Campo is an Ohio Police officer that was fired as the police chief of Sheffield Lake after he placed a “KKK” sign on the desk of a black officer.

Anthony Campo Career 

Anthony Campo has been with the department for 33 years and served as chief for eight. He was chief of the Sheffield Lake Police Department.

Anthony Campo leaves KKK note on Black officer’s desk

In a surveillance video, it shows Campo printing out the words “Ku Klux Klan” on the department’s copier and placing it on a yellow raincoat folded to look like one of the racist group’s trademark hoods. While the targeted officer has not been named, he reported the incident to the police union. The video shows Campo walking with a piece of paper toward a desk with a yellow jacket sitting on it. He picks up the jacket briefly before putting it back on the desk.

He then leaves and goes into another area. The jacket seems to have its hood up and was fashioned to resemble a KKK hood, and there’s now a piece of paper on it. A few seconds later, a Black officer comes into the area and sees the paper and jacket. The officer, who started working for the department nine months ago, walks in and sees the message. It is unclear what the officer and Campo say to one another as the video has no audio. Other people come into the frame and chat with the officer.

Anthony Campos Resigns after Stating it was a Joke

The mayor, Dennis Bring, said the chief claimed the note and jacket were a “prank.” “He thought this was just a joke,” Bring said to Cleveland.com. 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.” The union that represents the police brought a harassment complaint to Graves’ office. Bring went straight to Campo’s office after learning about the incident. “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?’” Graves showed Campo the complaint. Bring told him he had 10 minutes to get out of the office and that he would be on administrative leave until further notice. He asked the chief not to touch anything, hand over the keys to his cruiser, and find a ride home.

Campo then announced that he wanted to resign effective immediately, used his computer to type his resignation letter and left, Bring said.

According to Cleveland.com Campo earned a yearly salary of $86,835.43, and it’s unclear as of Friday 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.

“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 officer who received the inappropriate message retained an attorney since the incident. Bring is unsure whether the officer plans to file suit but noted he would back the officer if he were to seek further action against Campo.

Bring had an emotional conversation Wednesday with the officer.

“It took us 10 minutes to talk to each other because we both sat there crying,” he 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 officer told Bring that he was so taken aback by his superior’s actions that he just smiled because he didn’t know what to do.

“This shouldn’t happen anywhere,” he said. “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.”

Sgt. Shawn Corr is currently acting chief for the department, Bring said.

 

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