On Sunday, which was Father’s Day, the Topeka Police Department in Kansas sent a tweet that seemed to suggest that followers should turn in their husbands, and the fathers of their children, on the holiday. Per The Inquisitr, the tweet was quickly deleted, after an outcry against the department.
Now, the department has apologized.
“Yesterday a member of our social media team tweeted on the official TPD Twitter account. The tweet was meant to be humorous and light-hearted, but was hurtful to some,” the department’s official account tweeted Monday. “After realizing this, the tweet was quickly deleted. We would like to sincerely apologize for this mistake. This will be a learning experience and goes to show that words, even when intended to be humorous, can be hurtful to others. Thank you to all who reached out, letting us know how you felt.”
The tweet, which was sent at around 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, drew an immediate backlash, from those offended that the department would choose Father’s Day for a message about how citizens should turn in family members who have outstanding warrants or are carrying drugs. The message was deleted not long afterward. The negative comments were even posted on the next tweet below, which consisted of Topeka police officers meeting with children at a community event the day before.
In the replies to the apology post, Twitter users weren’t feeling particularly forgiving. Some of the commenters didn’t believe that the department was really sorry, while others asked the department to instead concentrate on solving crimes, including the city’s cold cases.
TPD APOLOGY: Topeka Police is apologizing for a now-deleted Father's Day tweet, meant to be humorous, but received a lot of criticism. https://t.co/algr8XfBEV— WIBW (@wibw) June 17, 2019
One user had another view, tweeting that “if people obeyed the law there would be no reason to be upset.”
It’s unclear if anyone actually attempted to contact the Topeka Police Department in order to turn anyone in on Father’s Day.
The controversy comes at a time when the social media posts of police officers nationwide have come under an increased amount of scrutiny. The Plain View Project recently released a study showing that a large percentage of police officers in major U.S. cities have made social media posts expressing racial prejudice, calls for violence, and other inappropriate content, usually under their own names. In addition, many of the officers who made the posts have been investigated for real-life misconduct as well.