A police officer in Alabama was not fired after he posted a homophobic Facebook comment about a 15-year-old boy who had recently committed suicide after being bullied in school for being gay. Instead, he was only put on administrative leave for his despicably vile social media activity that falls well outside the scope of protecting and serving a community.
“Liberty Guns Bible Trump BBQ That’s my kind of LGBTQ movement. I’m seriously offended there is such a thing such as the movement. Society cannot and should not accept this behavior,” Madison County Deputy Jeff Graves wrote in the comments section of a Facebook post by a Huntsville TV station about Nigel Shelby to raise awareness about bullying of LGBTQ people.
A sheriff’s office spokesman vowed a full investigation would be taking place.
“The Sheriff’s Office holds all its employees to high standard, and the public can be assured that a thorough and complete audit will be conducted and appropriate action will be taken,” Madison County Lt. Donny Shaw said in a statement. “The involved employee has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the audit.”
The fact that anyone who is supposed to protect and serve would say this under a post about a child is disgusting. Chances are this deputy is not the only one in his department who feels that way.
Shelby, a high school freshman in Huntsville, committed suicide Thursday. Reports said he killed himself because he was bullied at school for being gay. A GoFundMe page has already exceeded its goal.
“We were saddened to learn this morning of the death of Nigel Shelby, one of our 9th grade students. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. Parents, please talk to your students about Nigel’s death,” Aaron King, the principal of Shelby’s school, said in a statement. “Know and be aware of changes in your child. Talk to them about what they see, words they speak and actions they can take to make a difference. We must be better.”
Shelby’s mother mourned her son’s death on Facebook.
“Lord my Lord God,” Camika Quintay wrote Friday. “My baby My everything Praying for peace, strength and understanding.”
“Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University,” the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reported. On top of that, the CDC found that more than “14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.”
In addition, Black children are twice as likely to commit suicide than white children, according to Nationwide Children’s.
Rest in power, Nigel.