MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - A Madison County Sheriff's Office deputy placed on administrative leave after posting homophobic comments on social media once worked as a school resource officer and is currently certified to train fellow deputies in working with those who are mentally ill.
Deputy Jeff Graves posted anti-LGBTQ Facebook comments on Sunday evening in response to a public posted story about a 15-year-old boy who died by suicide.
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."
The controversial comments have been removed but are still circulating on social media and have been published in national news stories. The Madison County Sheriff's Office said it has placed Graves on administrative leave while Sheriff Kevin Turner conducts an investigation into the deputy's behavior.
WHNT News 19 checked into Graves past. We learned he worked as a school resource officer for the Madison County School District. An Alabama Department of Education memorandum indicates Graves was on a state school safety task force in 2016.
A spokesman for the Madison County School District couldn't tell us when Graves stopped working as a resource officer. However, they did say he resigned a few years ago to work in the Madison County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit.
It also appears that Graves is specialized in working with those who are mentally ill. The sheriff's office posted a picture on April 3 saying the deputy is now a Crisis Intervention Trainer. Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) is a program that teaches law enforcement officers skills to make them more aware of how to approach and help those with mental illnesses.
Sheriff Turner is scheduled to make a statement regarding the situation when the investigation into Graves conduct is finished, according to the Madison County Sheriff's Office.
“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.