SHEFFIELD LAKE, Ohio (WJW)– The fall-out continues after a racist incident between a local police chief and a Black police officer.
Now, a local civil rights organization is calling on the city of Sheffield Lake to retrain the entire police department.
“The first thing I thought is this goes way beyond the chief of police. If the chief thinks it’s OK to perpetuate such a heinous, absolutely insensitive action against someone under his command, then there is something wrong with the culture of the department,” said Julia Shearson with the Cleveland Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Video shows former Sheffield Lake Police Chief Anthony Campo leaving a racially intimidating note on the raincoat of a Black officer last week.
On Tuesday, the officer’s union brought it to the attention of city hall. Campo immediately put in his retirement after being placed on administrative leave.
According to Shearson, more than 30 percent of CAIR-Ohio’s members are African-American. The organization has trained thousands of police officers on issues of diversity and bias-prevention.
“We want to support law enforcement officers when they do something right. Unfortunately, this chief has embarrassed his entire division and brought national attention,” Shearson said.
Meantime, residents in Sheffield Lake and surrounding communities are planning a rally next weekend in support of the police officer who was at the receiving end of this racial injustice. Organizers said they will meet at the Shoreway Shopping Center and then march to city hall in solidarity.
Campo served as police chief for eight years. The city said it is going through his computer to check for anything else that might raise questions.
“I think it cries out for serious disciplinary action. It calls into question whether or not this chief deserves to be pensioned by the taxpayers of the city of Sheffield Lake. This is a chance to turn a terrible incident into a teachable moment and promote positive change,” Shearson said.