Alabama Deputy Sheriff Suspended for Homophobic Facebook Post About LGBT Teen's Suicide

by | April 24, 2019 AT 5:19 PM

By Ashley Remkus

An Alabama sheriff's deputy is on leave after making anti-LGBTQ comments on a Facebook post about a 15-year-old who died by suicide.

Madison County Deputy Jeff Graves wrote the comments on a post shared by a Huntsville TV station to raise awareness about bullying of LGBTQ people. The post on the WZDX Facebook page linked to a story that featured 15-year-old Huntsville student Nigel Shelby, who killed himself last week, reportedly as a result of bullying because he was a member of the LGBTQ community.

Attempts by AL.com to reach Nigel's family were not immediately successful.

Graves' comments have since been removed from the post. Graves didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Liberty

Guns

Bible

Trump

BBQ

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," Graves posted.

"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."

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," Turner said in the statement.

AL.com journalist Howard Koplowitz contributed to this report.

(c)2019 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham