On Thursday, 15-year- old Nigel Shelby took his own life after continuously being bullied for being gay. Many celebrities, students and communities were distraught by this tragedy and mourned the freshman's death. Yet, the aftermath led to Madison County deputy, Jeff Graves, being placed on administrative leave after making homophobic comments via social media.
In a post-and-delete, Graves came up with his own version of the meaning LGBTQ that exemplified his anti-support of the movement.
“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,” said Graves.
According to WAFF48, Madison County Sheriff office soon after released a statement informing that Deputy Graves would be receiving disciplinary action:
“The Madison County Sheriff’s Office acknowledges complaints of social media post allegedly made by an employee of the Sheriff’s Office to a local media outlet’s FB post on Sunday. The Sheriff’s Office has assigned these allegations to be audited with the information that has been provided to us. 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.
The involved employee has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the audit.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office responds promptly to allegations of misconduct by any of it’s employees. The process of investigating misconduct allegations is in accordance with established Madison County Sheriff’s Office policies and procedures and Madison County Personnel Department policies and procedures."
Sheriff Kevin Turner offered his condolences to the family and friends of Nigel Shelby. Graves comments were brought to the office attention by Shelby's feature on WZDX Fox 54 Facebook page to raise awareness about bullying in schools.
"Bullying of any group or person in or outside of schools is unacceptable, and I welcome any and all efforts to raise awareness to bullying and bring bullying to a stop. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is proud of the community support and engagement we have received over the years, and we look forward to growing those community partnerships," said Turner.
Graves has refused to comment on the situation since he is under investigation. He also believed his comments were protected under freedom of speech.