A lot of companies and brands like to make special tweets for holidays, but a tweet sent for Father’s Day by one police department was different from most.
Per The Washington Examiner, the police department in Topeka, Kansas, sent a tweet at around 11:06 a.m. on Father’s Day, inviting women to turn the fathers of their children in to police on Father’s Day.
“Does your child’s father have warrrants? [ sic] Is he carrying around any drugs? Has he been committing any crimes? Want to give him a Father’s Day gift he’ll never forget? Call TPD and we’ll help your family make a memory that will last a lifetime,” the tweet said.
It was soon deleted, however, after a backlash. The department did not comment on the deleted message.
Most of the comments on the tweet below the deleted one, in which the Topeka Police Department posted photos of a community event the day before, consisted of screenshots of the deleted tweet as well as references to it.
“Imagine meeting all these people and kids and then, the next day, tweeting out such a moronic and offensive thing about drug users and fatherless homes on Father’s Day,” Twitter user Derek Chevalier replied.
“Thank God you deleted that trash but the fact anyone at your precinct thought that was acceptable is abhorrent.”
Hey @Topeka_Police, can’t believe you tweet this out and then deleted it, cowards! If you’re gonna have the balls to say stupid shit like this, have the balls to stand behind it! pic.twitter.com/jVrvrnba45— Eric Hills (@erichills80) June 16, 2019
The department’s Facebook page later posted a much more cheerful Father’s Day message:
The report comes during a season of controversy involving the social media posts of police officers. A group called The Plain View Project recently published a study showing that a large percentage of active and retired police officers in several U.S. cities have made social media posts that were either racist or supportive of violence. The study also found that many of the officers who have made such posts have also been investigated for real-life misconduct.
Richard Ross, the police commissioner in Philadelphia, one of the cities named in the Plain View Project investigation, announced that the city has hired an outside law firm to investigate the social media posts.
“First, we must verify independently that the officers identified in the report actually made the comments attributed to them, many of which I find deeply disturbing and upsetting,” Ross said in a statement, per The Philadelphia Sun.
“But to be clear, those officers that we have identified that appear to have engaged in explicit bias against any protected class of individual or who advocated any form of violence, will be immediately removed from street duty during the course of these investigations.”
However, such controversial posts have rarely come from the official social media accounts of city police departments.