Alabama police apologize after cops pose with 'quilt' made of signs taken from homeless people before Christmas
The post was put up by two officers identified as Preston McGraw and Alexandre Olivier, against whom an investigation was launched
MOBILE, ALABAMA: The Mobile Police department of Alabama has apologized following outrage against two of their police officers who posed next to cardboard signs that they had confiscated from the homeless before Christmas.
Mobile Police Department's official Facebook page posted the apology. Chief of Police Lawrence Battiste expressed his "sincerest apologies" for the "Homeless Quilt" post. "As a police department entrusted with serving and protecting our community, we offer our sincerest apology for the insensitive gesture of a Facebook post by two of our officers where they are holding up a homeless “quilt” made of panhandling signs."
The distasteful post was put up by two officers identified as Preston McGraw and Alexandre Olivier. The post showed them standing next to numerous signs taped together, grinning. The messages on the signs appeared to be from homeless people asking for help.
"Wanna wish everybody in 4th precinct a Merry Christmas, especially our captain," read the Facebook post from the personal profile of an officer with the Mobile Police Department. "Hope you enjoy our homeless quilt!" The post that has now been deleted quickly went viral.
"Although we do not condone panhandling and must enforce the city ordinances that limit panhandling, it is never our intent or desire as a police department to make light of those who find themselves in a homeless state," Chief Battiste said.
An investigation has been launched into the two officers' actions, but they will remain on duty. "The two officers' behavior of taping the signs was definitely immature and insensitive and in now way indicative of the department as a whole and not something that is approved of and practiced," Charlette Solis, spokesperson for the department told Buzzfeed News.
Facebook users were enraged by the actions of the officers and some felt that an apology wasn't enough. "This was such a sad lack of compassion. These 2 officers should be reprimanded, time off without pay and sent to counseling," one user said. Another user said, "I think these officers could use a lesson in humility. A week of community service at a homeless shelter might do the trick."