A Camden County deputy is in trouble after First Coast News revealed on Tuesday that he dressed in blackface for Halloween.
A spokesman for the Sheriff’s office told FCN that the officer’s behavior was “unacceptable”
“Look at it. A white man with a black face, this just isn’t right. It can’t get more racist. It can’t,” said community leader Shelia Blake.
“I think this is disgusting. For this to be up at our Sheriff’s office. This is not right,” she said.
Sheriff Jim Proctor later suspended Deputy Sheriff Chad Palmer without pay but said although the costume was “extremely offensive”, he doesn’t believe Palmer to be a racist. Palmer has also been placed on probation for a year and will be forced to undergo sensitivity training.
‘Today, we are here because of someone’s inappropriate, insensitive actions. Extremely insensitive, is what it is. I do not believe Chad Palmer is a racist. I have had to take action,’ said Proctor.
Proctor said Palmer will be suspended until he feels the deputy is ready to come back to work. He also says he considered taking more serious action against Palmer but decided against it.
‘There’s been a lot of thought, a lot of prayer in to this decision,’ Proctor said. ‘I thought about firing him but decided against it.’
Some members of the community have asked the department to look into the history of Palmer’s arrests to determine if any of them might have been racially motivated.