Alabama Cop Who Quit Job After Making Homophobic Comments Following Nigel Shelby's Suicide Gets Another Job As An Officer
"Everyone deserves a second chance," said his new boss.
August 01, 2019 at 9:01 pm
An Alabama police officer who resigned after he was caught making homophobic comments on social media following Nigel Shelby’s suicide has been hired by another police force.
Former Madison County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jeff Graves was hired by Owens Cross Roads Police Department in early July, reports WAAY.
“He’s an officer here. We feel he will be a good addition to the department,” Owens Cross Roads Police Chief Jason Dobbins said.
Graves quit his job with Madison County in May after he was caught criticizing the existence of the LGBTQ rights movement on Facebook, according to The Advocate. The comment was made under a news link about Shelby’s death.
"Liberty, Guns, Bible, Trump, BBQ. That’s my kind of LGBTQ movement,” Graves wrote. "I’m seriously offended there is such a thing such as the movement. Society cannot and should not accept this behavior.”
The post was eventually deleted, and Graves was placed on administrative leave before he resigned.
Dobbins stands firm in his decision to hire the controversial officer.
"Everyone deserves a second chance," he told WHNT.
Dobbins added Graves’ interactions with the community will be monitored via body cam.
Shelby, 15, committed suicide in April after experiencing bullying at his high school in Huntsville, Alabama. On June 10, Camika Shelby, his mother, accused school officials of making homophobic comments to her son, as Blavity previously reported.
“After my son passed, I learned that he had several discussions about homosexuality with school administrators and was told that being gay was a choice," Camika said in a statement. "I was never contacted by the school and informed that my son was struggling with his sexual identity and regularly having discussions with a school administrator."
The mother also believes the school knew her son was suicidal. Camika claims a school administrator called her and informed her of a suicide note in Nigel’s backpack after he was already dead.
"People at his school knew that he planned to take his own life," she said. "I need to find out who knew and why nobody told me until after he died.”
Camika retained civil rights attorneys Benjamin Crump and Jasmine Rand. She wants the school to investigate their response to Nigel’s emotional issues.
School district spokesman Keith Ward denied the allegations.
"The administrators and counselors of Huntsville High School had a close relationship with Nigel during his time at the school," Ward said. "They worked with Nigel to ensure that he felt at home at Huntsville High."