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Police Chief Resigns While Insisting KKK Note Was a Joke

Ohio chief Anthony Campo left it on a Black officer's jacket
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2021 3:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – A former police chief in Ohio says a note left on a jacket on a Black officer's desk was just a joke—but nobody else found it funny. Anthony Campo resigned as police chief in Sheffield Lake, a community west of Cleveland, days after he was seen on surveillance footage printing off the "Ku Klux Klan" note and placing it on the jacket, USA Today reports. Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring describes the former chief's behavior as the "most egregious and offensive thing you could possibly do." The mayor said he was notified of the "embarrassing and disgusting" June 25 incident after the police union filed a complaint on behalf of the officer. Bring says Campo offered to submit his retirement papers after he was told he would be placed on administrative leave.

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The mayor says that when he went to Campo's office, the chief made a joke about getting fired and was shocked when he was told there would be negative repercussions. "He said, 'After 30 years this is what I get?' And I said, 'You have 10 minutes to get out of your office,'" Bring said, per WKRC. Campo tells the Morning Journal that note was a joke and he isn't a racist. "That’s all it was," Campo says. "I had a joking back and forth banter with that officer, since I hired him." The mayor, however, says he had an emotional conversation with the "very upset" officer. He says the officer expressed a wish to stay with the department and he promised the officer the city would do all it could to support him.

(Read more Ohio stories.)

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