MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. — A sheriff’s department in Alabama removed a Facebook post showing a Christmas tree adorned with “thugshots” after reportedly receiving death threats, as well as criticism from local civil rights activists.
The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office deleted the photo from its “Team Sheriff” Facebook page on Saturday, AL.com reported. The post initially shared Thursday showed a doctored image of a Christmas tree decorated with photos of people arrested or wanted for crimes.
“We have decorated our Tree with THUGSHOTS to show how many Thugs we have taken off the streets of Mobile this year! We could not have done it without our faithful followers!” the department wrote, according to a screenshot of the since-deleted post shared by Fox 10.
The tree was topped with orange flip flops like those given to inmates. The department also spoke of a “special Christmas offer” for “ALL MOBILE COUNTY THUGS” — an item “from our property room!”
“Any of the things that your friend THUGS have stolen will be available for you!” the post continued. “But that’s not all, after you choose your one stolen item, your very own personal concierge #correctionsofficer will provide an escort to METRO DELUXE where you will receive your FREE COVID TEST. If you pass your test, then your concierge will take you for a ‘custom fitting’ to receive your Holiday Jumpsuit with matching ‘flap flops.'”
More than 7,900 people commented on the post, according to The Associated Press.
The sheriff’s department said it received “death threats” as well as other negative messages, including some that threatened the agency’s building would be set on fire. In a statement to WKRG, the department said that the threats “were not from our community,” but “if this post jeopardizes the relationship between law enforcement and other communities then we felt it best to remove it.”
Several civil rights groups had condemned the post before it was taken down, Fox News reported.
Mobile County NAACP Chapter President Robert Clopton said he received phone calls and text messages from irate residents and that the post was “inappropriate, shameful, disrespectful, despicable, disgusting and embarrassing to the citizens of Mobile County.”
“We live in a very volatile time,” Clopton said in a statement, according to Fox 10. “The relationship between law enforcement and the general public has been compromised.”
Criticism also came from the ACLU as well as the Alabama NAACP.
The post was part of a series of “thug Thursday” messages that highlight photos of people who are wanted for various crimes. The campaign will now be rebranded “Warrant Wednesday,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Lori Myles told AL.com Monday.
Myles said the department had received numerous threats on Facebook over the post, and a representative with dispatch was concerned about the possibility of people flooding phone lines and preventing deputies from responding to emergencies.
“I said, ‘This is not worth it,’” Myles said.
On Monday, Law Officer published an article, which reported that 69 people had recently been killed in Harris County, Texas (Houston-area) by criminals who’ve been released from custody on multiple felony bonds. In one case, a suspect is wanted for murder after having been released three times by a judge who appeared to give “thugs” a get-out-of-jail-free card. The individual cases highlighted were black-on-black crimes, something largely ignored by the BLM movement and other activists.
We’ve noticed that no one from the ACLU or NAACP has been angered at Judge Hillary Unger of the 248th criminal district court who gave one of the accused killers a get-out-of-jail-free-card, not once or twice, but three times.
Apparently referring to a “thug” as a “thug” via Christmas ornaments is far worse than releasing them from custody like a revolving door so they can kill, mayhem, and destroy.