Everybody’s had a bad boss or two in their careers, but the former chief of a Northeast Ohio police department might take the cake for having an extra-racist sense of humor and childish tendencies.
A Hispanic cop in the Sheffield Lake Division of Police has filed an employment discrimination complaint alleging that the department’s ex-chief, Anthony Camp, tormented him over his ethnicity and religion. Sheffield Lake, a tiny town on the shore of Lake Erie about a half hour west of Cleveland, is the same place where last year the former police chief was caught on camera leaving a racist note for a Black officer. Campo’s defense in that incident was that he was only joking around with a co-worker, but the humor in it was lost on the town’s mayor, who snatched Campo’s badge, gun and cop car and told him to get to steppin’.
Now, we wonder how funny Campo thinks his alleged harassment of Officer Audali J. Torres was over the years. Torres filed a complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission charges that his former boss “constantly harassed me about my religion and ethnicity.” That included allegedly creating racist and religiously bigoted images featuring Torres’ face on a jar of salsa, his head atop the body of a priest and captioning an actual picture taken of him with two kids during a mission trip to El Salvador with “a thought bubble implying that I was a pedophile,” according to the filing.
“When I tried to stand up to Mr. Campo, he threatened to reduce my house and threatened to now allow me to use a police cruiser as part of my charity work with Open Hearts, which I had always been allowed to do as part of outreach efforts.”
The complaint, originally filed in February, was reported yesterday by NBC News.
Torres, a part-time officer who previously retired from the Ohio State Patrol, noted in his complaint that he was the only Hispanic officer in the department and a Roman Catholic so devout that he had an agreement with city officials allowing him time off to worship on Sundays and annual mission trips.
Campo left the department last year after his childish, racist “prank” of a Black officer came to light. A local newspaper obtained surveillance video from inside a police station of Campo leaving a note that read, “Ku Klux Klan” on a Black officer’s rain coat. He defended himself at the time, apologizing for the incident and saying he wasn’t racist and had always had a jovial relationship with the other officer.
Yeah, we bet.