The tragedy of 15-year-old’s Nigel Shelby untimely passing has already been a lot for his community to handle, but it has become even more unfortunate when people who are supposed to represent the community use his sexuality to disrespect him.
That’s what happened recently with an Alabama sheriff’s deputy. Madison County Deputy Jeff Graves shared his bigoted thoughts about the Huntsville high school student. On a WZDX Facebook post about Shelby’s passing, Graves commented:
That’s my kind of LGBTQ movement
I’m seriously offended there is such a thing such as the 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 by by persons with an altered ego and fake agenda.”
The comment has since been deleted.
Nigel Shelby took his own life last week as a result of bullying because he was a member of the LGBTQ community. The Sheriff’s Office has responded to the post in a statement. They’ve also suspended Graves pending an investigation.
“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,” Madison County Lt. Donny Shaw, a sheriff’s office spokesman, said in a statement. “The involved employee has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the audit.”
In the statement, Sheriff Kevin Turner said 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,” he continued.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Nigel’s mother with funeral expenses.
Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
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