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Last Friday at the Sheffield Lake Police department, Police Chief Anthony Campo went to the department’s copier machine, printed out a small note that included the words “Ku Klux Klan,” then placed it on a raincoat set aside for a black officer, just before that officer entered the room. Surveillance video of the act was posted online and Campo has just announced his retirement – immediately after he was placed on administrative leave.

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“This was very shameful,” said Mayor of Sheffield Lake, Dennis Bring, through tears. “I don’t want this as a reflection on any of our employees because they’re just as sad about this as I am. I’ve lived here 63 years. We’ve strived to make this city better, and I think we have, and when something like this happens, one person to destroy everything we’ve worked hard for is just so heartbreaking. I mean bad.”

Although the incident happened last Friday, Mayor Bring said he wasn’t informed about it until Tuesday morning when they received a letter from the police union about a harassment allegation.

“I said, ‘And you have a tape of this?’ And he said, ‘Yes,’’ Mayor Bring said of his conversation with their Law Director, David Graves. “I said, ‘Did he confess to this?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ And then I said, ‘He should be fired immediately!’”

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“My view of it is that it was an extremely poor decision of somebody who thought this was a complete joke and didn’t have the understanding of the magnitude of what he has done,” Bring continued. “I don’t care, and somebody’s made a comment in this day and age it doesn’t matter this day and age, or if it was 40 years ago, that is the most inappropriate thing you can do to an African American. I don’t care; that was just totally offensive.”

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