By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Sheffield Lake Police Chief Anthony Campo, who was captured on surveillance video placing a Ku Klux Klan note in the jacket of a Black officer, has retired.
Campo reportedly decided to retire after more than 30 years on the police force in the Ohio town of just over 9,000 people and just over 21 miles from Cleveland.
“We had a very emotional sit down because it took us 10 minutes to talk to each other because we were both crying,” Mayor Dennis Bring told a local television news crew.
Bring, who had immediately placed Campo on administrative leave, said at first, he did not know why the chief decided to put the note in the officer’s jacket.
“I don’t know why he did it. I really do not. There are no words to describe this,” the mayor asserted. He said the chief maintains it was a joke that got out of hand, one for which Campo still refuses to apologize.
“I took it very seriously, and I’ve asked for his badge and keys,” Bring said, adding that he asked for Campo’s resignation and advised him to retire.
The video, which has been replayed over various news and social media outlets, shows Campo tampering with a raincoat on a desk that appears to be that of a Black officer.
He then places a white piece of paper on the jacket, with the words “Ku Klux Klan” covering a police label on the back.
The video is without sound, but the African American officer appears to laugh off the note, even pointing it out while smiling with other officers.
The African American officer has not been publicly identified. Neither the officer nor Campo has issued any statements.