An Alabama police officer who resigned over homophobic comments he made after a gay teen’s death by suicide is now back on the streets.
As WHNT 19 News reports, officer Jeff Graves left his post on the Madison County Police Department shortly after sharing his offensive opinions about the LGBTQ community on Facebook in the wake of Alabama teen Nigel Shelby’s suicide.
In the now-deleted post, Graves wrote that he was “seriously offended” by the LGBTQ movement, which he believes should stand for “Liberty Guns Bible Trump BBQ,” according to screenshots obtained by NBC News.
Shelby, whose death came after years of homophobic bullying by his peers, was just 15 years old and a freshman at Huntsville High School.
Graves’ comments garnered nationwide attention, and he resigned in early May. However, he’s now gainfully employed at another police precinct in Owens Cross Road.
In an interview with WAAY 31, a local ABC News affiliate, Owens Cross Roads Police Chief Jason Dobbins confirmed that Graves was hired under his police department, which also operates in Madison County.
“Everyone deserves a second chance,” Dobbins told the news outlet.
Dobbins added that he believes Graves will be “a good addition to the department.” He also noted that all of Graves’ actions while on duty will be recorded via body cam—and that the officer in question has expressed regret for his offensive and very ill-timed post.
Two months ago in Alabama a Madison County deputy named Jeff Graves resigned after posting anti-LGBTQ comments following the suicide of 15-year-old Nigel Shelby
The Owens Cross Roads Police Department just hired Graves as a full-time officer. https://t.co/FjYUVpTXpN
— Mx. Brian Latimer (@briskwalk) July 12, 2019
Meanwhile, Shelby’s community remains rocked by the teen’s devastating death by suicide. In April, his mother, Camika Shelby, spoke out about losing her son, telling NBC affiliate WAFF 48 that he was “the sweetest child.”
“He was outgoing, he was always full of joy, full of light, he was always singing, always dancing,” she added. “He wanted to be a performer so you could probably see that.”
Nigel was laid to rest in April in a rainbow casket.