It was a “stupid mistake” that gave a window into how one “non-commissioned” employee of the Chelan County, Washinton Sheriff’s department feels about protesters. Chelan County Department of Emergency Management shared a meme on their official page on Monday.
“All lives splatter” the meme declares, with stick figures being thrown around a blocky vehicle, a dress-clad stick figure with a bow on its head (ostensibly a woman) on the hood. The meme was removed, and an apology posted, but that was removed too and an official statement apologizing went up. The meme was from a hateful, anti-liberal site, of course:
The employee, when answering a direct message, said they had meant to send the meme to their cousin, not publish it to the page. They also said that the meme depicting splattering protesters was not meant to encourage violence. Of course, the fact that it came from a page so full of acrid hatred for anyone on the left side of the political spectrum wasn’t mentioned.
Here is the official apology:
Rich Smith, a blogger on “the Stranger,” noted that this meme is, “beloved by the Nazi and neo-Confederate organizers of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville and Santa Fe police union presidents alike.” Tying this particular flavor of meme with the people who are most likely to share it.
What does it say about a law enforcement officer that they feel it is ok to share, especially following the murder of Heather Heyer, an image of violence with a vehicle, against a woman, during a protest, on their personal page? Memes like this, about the people they are supposed to protect?
The outrageous and “inappropriate” post would be inappropriate for any public employee to share, but the employee had planned on sharing it to their personal page – where no member of the public would be the wiser. It was unfortunate for them that it ended up going out publically, and the public outcry was immediate and swift.
In the face of rising fears that we will lose our First Amendment right to protest our own government — and the man standing in front of the White House calling for police to be a little less “nice” — a meme like this coming from anyone in an official capacity drives fear into the hearts of Americans. When authority figures appear biased, it breeds distrust.
A mistake was made, and in a climate less charged by fear and distrust caused by the actions of far too many “bad cops” causing fear of even the good ones, perhaps it would have gone unnoticed. It did not go unnoticed.
What do you think, is justice served?
Featured image via screen captures and Pixabay, altered