In the aftermath of the prominent non-indictments of two white police officers who indisputably killed unarmed black men (and the murder of a 12-year-old boy by a cop who didn't even try to perform first aid after shooting him), you might think that police departments would have the good sense not to pop off on social media. You'd be wrong.
This morning, the St. Louis Police Department put, on its official Twitter and Facebook accounts, a rambling, weird message to parents of children who play with toy guns—guns like the one 12-year-old Tamir Rice was playing with before an officer rolled up and immediately shot and killed the boy. The message: here are some important safety tips for kids so they don't get themselves shot by a trigger-happy police officer LARPing Rambo.
Here's the post, in full:
After the post received a harsh public response, the St. Louis Police Department took it down. But the Tweet linking to the post remains up.
Here's another fun fact about the St. Louis Police Department: Daily Kos is reporting that in 2010, four white officers from the department were forced to pay $800,000 after losing a lawsuit filed by two black officers.
...after white officers hung a noose up in the office to intimidate black officers. [James] Murphy, the supervising officer, refused to take it down, and said it was all in good fun. The lawsuit also stated that Murphy had a long history of discrimination in the department and regularly passed over more decorated and experienced black officers for promotions to advance the careers of inexperienced white officers.
Clearly, the St. Louis Police Department is incredibly in touch with their community, and with American society at large. All cops are!