An Alabama sheriff’s deputy is being disciplined after making offensive anti-gay comments mocking a 15-year-old teen who committed suicide after allegedly getting bullied.
Nigel Shelby, a Huntsville High School student, came out two years ago, his mom Camika Shelby told WAFF. She believes that the outside pressure from being gay, other emotional issues and depression led to his suicide.
Madison County Deputy Jeff Graves took time out to criticize and bully the dead LGBTQ teen when he commented on a post shared by a Huntsville TV station that highlighted the life of Nigel Shelby and the horrific reason he ultimately took his own life.
Graves’ added his two-cents nobody asked for posting:
“Liberty, Guns, Bible, Trump, BBQ. That’s my kind of LGBTQ movement, Graves wrote.
“I’m seriously offended there is such a thing such as the movement. Society cannot and should not accept this behavior,” Graves posted.
Graves has since been put on leave, but no word if he will ultimately be terminated.
The Department released this statement following the deputy’s comments
“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,” said Madison County Lt. Donny Shaw, a sheriff’s office spokesman, in a statement. “The involved employee has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the audit.”
Sheriff Kevin Turner said in a statement he “offers his condolences to the family and friends of Nigel Shelby whose young life was lost to suicide last week.”
“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,” Turner said in the statement.
Shelby said she wants the memory of her son’s life to center on the bigger picture of who he was, not the deputy’s sordid comments.
“I don’t want him to be remembered as a kid who was bullied for being gay and who took his own life,” she said. “He was so much more than that. He was sunshine. He was just a great spirit to have around, and it just breaks my heart, because I feel like he had so much more love to give.”
Nigel Shelby’s Celebration of Life will be April 27 at noon at the Rock church. Visitation will be Friday from 3-8 p.m. at Serenity Funeral Home.