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Black Ohio cop whose white boss left a ‘Ku Klux Klan’ note on his desk is suing for discrimination

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Officer Keith Pool (pictured) has filed suit against the City of Sheffield Lake Division of Police after he was allegedly the victim of the former police chief’s race-based harassment.

The black Ohio police officer who received Ku Klux Klan endorsements from his white boss has filed suit against his employer.

Agent Keith Pool filed a suit on Thursday – a first step in preparing a lawsuit – with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission alleging that former Sheffield Lake Police Chief Anthony Campo “constantly” harassed him because of his race and that other senior officers with knowledge of the incidents refused to intervene.

Pool alleges that Campo “created racially offensive images that mock me” and then shared them with other employees and on department bulletin boards, citing an image that had his face Photoshopped onto the Grim Reaper’s body, which depicts Campo “the raccoon mower’ had written.

Campo retired in the summer after he was caught on surveillance video posting a note saying ‘Ku Klux Klan’ about the ‘police’ label on a raincoat that was on Polish desk.

The former police chief also made a “pointed Ku Klux Klan hat” and wore it in front of Pool and other associates, the indictment said. Campo also told Pool to wear the hat on duty.

In addition to the discrimination charges, Pool’s attorneys have filed a petition with the Ohio Supreme Court, forcing police in the Cleveland suburbs to provide public records that they believe will demonstrate Campo’s alleged pattern of race-based harassment.

Pool alleges that Campo

Pool alleges that Campo “created racially offensive images that mock me” and then shared them with other employees and on department bulletin boards, citing an image that had his face Photoshopped onto the Grim Reaper’s body, which showed Campo “the raccoon mower’ wrote

On July 25, 2021, Campo was included by placing the KKK bill and hat on Pool’s raincoat.

The Sheffield Lake Police Department video, without sound, shows Campo standing by a department printer, carrying the note to him and deliberately placing it on the jacket.

When the officer enters the room and sees the display, he looks toward Campo’s office. Video then shows the two talking briefly.

Pool takes the note from the jacket, but puts it back to show two of his colleagues, both white.

“It wasn’t funny to them,” Pool told NBC News on Thursday — the first time he’s ever spoken publicly about the surveillance footage and alleged harassment.

“They ran away from it.”

He added: ‘It was so humbling. It was so disrespectful to me.’

A note that reads 'Ku Klux Klan' lies atop a raincoat decorated to resemble a KKK robe and hood on Pool's desk at the Sheffield Lake Police Department in Ohio

A note that reads ‘Ku Klux Klan’ lies atop a raincoat decorated to resemble a KKK robe and hood on Pool’s desk at the Sheffield Lake Police Department in Ohio

Video from June 25 shows Campo, seen in an orange shirt, printing the note and placing it on Pool's police raincoat

Video from June 25 shows Campo, seen in an orange shirt, printing the note and placing it on Pool’s police raincoat

Pool, who had only worked in the department for nine months at the time, was not at his desk at the time

Pool, who had only worked in the department for nine months at the time, was not at his desk at the time

At the time of the incident, Campo told Sheffield Lake mayor Dennis Bring that Campo said it was a joke. Bring called it “embarrassing and disgusting.”

Meanwhile, Pool’s attorney Ashlie Case Sletvold released the following statement to DailyMail.com Thursday: “The brave men and women like Officer Pool who risk their lives every day to protect our communities should not be subject to racial harassment. at work.

“We will hold the city, its officials and the former chief responsible for this shocking misconduct.”

Pool, 57, was hired by the Sheffield Lake Police Department in September 2020 after being courted by Mayor Bring in 2019. He was the first black officer hired into the department, which has 14 officers.

“There were no African Americans applying there,” Pool said.

Agent Keith Pool filed a suit - a first step in preparing for a lawsuit - with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission detailing the alleged harassment (above)

Agent Keith Pool filed a suit – a first step in preparing for a lawsuit – with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission detailing the alleged harassment (above)

However, he claims that Campo originally tried to block his employment.

“He said to a detective, ‘Absolutely not,'” Pool explained. “He didn’t want me there at all.”

The officer also alleges that Campo’s racial targeting began before his first day with the police force.

“Other police department employees have told me that before I was hired, Mr Campo interfered with my application and hiring process and, in the presence of several employees, said he would never ‘hire a ****r,’ Pool wrote in the discrimination complaint.

When he was hired, according to Pool, Campo sent him a photo of a vehicle with 20-inch wheels and tinted windows instead of a photo of his new patrol car.

“It said ‘Officer Pool, SRO,’ he told the news station. “It threw me. What is he talking about? What is this about?’

The complaint also alleges that Campo targeted the division's lone Latino officer, citing a case where he attached an image of the officer's face to a salsa logo.

The complaint also alleges that Campo targeted the division’s lone Latino officer, citing a case where he attached an image of the officer’s face to a salsa logo.

He then received the note from the ‘raccoon reaper’ around Halloween, the officer says.

“I didn’t understand that either,” he said.

Pool alleges that Campo also targeted the second black officer hired with the department when the pair were in a patrol car.

Campo is said to have approached them and, according to Pool, said, “It looked like your windows were tinted.”

“The windows were open,” Pool explained.

The complaint also alleges that Campo targeted the division’s lone Latino officer, citing a case where he attached an image of the officer’s face to a salsa logo.

In addition, Pool alleges that several department members were aware of the alleged harassment and did not intervene.

“A lot of people knew about him,” Pool said. “Nothing has been done.”

The City of Sheffield Lake immediately responded to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.

Sheffield Lake Police Chief Anthony Campo (pictured) retired early after the video surfaced

Sheffield Lake Police Chief Anthony Campo (pictured) retired early after the video surfaced

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