In April, we learned of Nigel Shelby—the 15-year-old Huntsville High freshman who allegedly took his own life after relentless homophobic bullying drove him to despair. His tragic fate became headline news as mourners throughout the world struggled to come to grips with this devastating loss.
Madison County, Ala., sheriff’s deputy Jeff Graves felt otherwise, however, and as we previously reported, before Nigel was even laid to rest, Graves took to Facebook to express his ill-timed and unwelcomed opinion of the LGBTQ community:
“Liberty. Guns. Bible. Trump. BBQ. That’s my kind of LGBTQ. I’m seriously offended that there is such a thing such as this movement. Society cannot and should not accept this behavior. I have a right to be offended and will always be offended by this fake movement which requires no special attention but by persons with an altered ego and fake agenda.”
Graves was placed on administrative leave by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office for his homophobic remarks before eventually resigning on May 3, but it would appear his tarnished reputation was nothing more than a facade.
Newsweek reports that despite his disdain for the LGBTQ+ community, and his previous employer’s insistence that “if we don’t have the community’s trust we can’t succeed in our mission,” the neighboring Owens Cross Roads police force has welcomed Graves with open arms and on Friday announced his hiring.
“Everybody deserves a second chance,” Owens Cross Roads Police Chief Jason Dobbins told WHNT. “Justice is blind.”
As a precautionary measure, Dobbins assured the station that Graves’ conduct will be monitored via police body cameras. The police chief also insisted that he’s spoken to his department about their behavior on social media platforms.
“He’s an officer here,” he told WAAY. “We feel he will be a good addition to the department.”
But does he deserve to be there? The streets seem to think otherwise.
Graves’ new gig begins on Monday.