Camden County, Ga., Deputy Sheriff Chad Palmer (pictured) has been suspended without pay and put on probation for a year, after a disturbing photo emerged of him in an offensive Halloween costume dressed in blackface as an inmate. Palmer was captured in the controversial photograph crouched on the floor simulating picking cotton, according to the First Coast News. Yet despite Palmer’s racially charged depiction, there are some who feel his punishment is just a mere slap on the wrist and that he should actually be ousted from his job.
Sheriff Jim Proctor says that while Palmer’s act was “extremely insensitive,” he does not believe that he is a racist. Consequently, since the incident, Proctor has required that all deputy sheriffs be required to attend sensitivity training. Still, Proctor told First Coast News that he does feel that Palmer has been punished appropriately, “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.”
Pastor Mack Knight was appalled by the photos and felt that Palmer’s punishment was insufficient, “To me, it was like a slap in the face,” Knight said of the pictures. “Out of all of the characters that this police officer could have chosen, he chose to go as a slave, an inmate, picking cotton.”
Sheila Blake, who resides in the coastal community, expressed to the news outlet, “That is bad. For this to be a deputy doing something like this,’ she told First Coast News. ‘This isn’t causing anything but a war in Camden County. It’s not good for Camden County.”
In light of the racist photos, residents are now demanding that an investigation in to Palmer’s record of arrests be delved in to, as they could have been laced with prejudice on his part. Yet according to Proctor, he claims to have already reviewed the history of Palmer’s arrests, and according to him, none are racially motivated.