MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- A social media post by Mobile police officers featuring a photo and text that some say mock homeless people has resulted in an apology by MPD Police Chief Lawrence Battiste.
The photo, which was posted on a private Facebook page, shows two MPD officers in uniform holding up a cardboard "quilt" of taped-together signs apparently confiscated from panhandlers.
Text accompanying the photo reads, "Wanna wish everybody in 4th precinct a Merry Christmas, especially our captain. Hope you enjoy our homeless quilt! Sincerely, Panhandler patrol."
Battiste made the following statement after the post drew wide criticism online:
“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. 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. Rather, our position has always been to partner with community service providers to help us help those faced with homelessness with hope to improve their quality of life.”