A deputy in Alabama has been rehired to a new position after being suspended and then resigning over comments he made regarding a gay teen’s suicide.
Jeff Graves, formerly a Madison County sheriff’s deputy, is now an officer in Owens Cross Roads.
‘Everybody deserves a second chance,’ said Owens Cross Roads Police Chief Jason Dobbins.
He added he believes Graves is ‘remorseful’ over his homophobic comments, according to local news station WHNT.
‘He’s an officer here. We feel he will be a good addition to the department,’ Dobbins added.
What did the deputy say?
On 19 April, 15-year-old Nigel Shelby took his own life following homophobic bullying. Following his death, his mother requested people remember Shelby for more than his bullying and subsequent suicide.
Graves, instead, posted a homophobic comment on Facebook about Shelby’s death. He wrote the comment on a post shared by a Huntsville TV station about Shelby’s story.
‘Liberty, Guns, Bible, Trump, BBQ. That’s my kind of LGBTQ movement,’ he wrote on the social media site. ‘I’m seriously offended there is such a thing such as the movement. Society cannot and should not accept this behavior.’
He further added he has a ‘right’ to be offended and described the LGBTI community as a ‘fake movement’.
An investigation took place, leading to Graves’ suspension before he stepped down from his role.
Dobbins revealed Graves’ first day of his new job was on Monday (8 July). He also said he does not believe Graves will show bias towards anyone while on duty.
Following his death, Shelby was remembered by friends and family with a celebration of his life and a rainbow casket.