Former deputy who resigned over homophobic comments hired as Owens Cross Roads police officer

Former deputy who resigned over homophobic comments hired as Owens Cross Roads police officer
(Source: WAFF)

OWENS CROSS ROADS, Ala. (WAFF) - The Owens Cross Roads Police Department has hired former Madison County sheriff’s deputy Jeff Graves as a full-time officer.

Graves was embroiled in controversy in May when he posted anti-LGBTQ comments in a Facebook post about the suicide of Nigel Shelby. Nigel, a student at Huntsville City Schools, was gay and took his own life following depression and bullying.

Graves later resigned amid an investigation.

Owens Cross Roads Police Chief Jason Dobbins said he hired Graves because “everyone deserves a second chance.”

Dobbins said Graves showed remorse over the situation. He said he feels comfortable that Graves will do his job without bias.

“Officer Graves may not have the same views as everyone else but that doesn’t prevent him from doing his job as an officer,” said Dobbins. “He’s going to make a great addition to our department."

He will be required to where a body camera, as all other officers, for accountability.

“The Owens Cross Roads Police Department does not discriminate based on sexual orientation, ethnicity, creed, religion, age, etc. Justice is blind and we treat every body with the same respect,” said Dobbins.

The Owens Cross Roads Police Department has five full time officers and two part-time.

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