Two Mobile, Alabama police officers are receiving backlash online after mocking the homeless community in a recent Facebook post.
In the post, the two officers shared a photo of them holding up what they called a “quilt” made out of cardboard signs.
“Wanna wish everybody in the 4th precinct a Merry Christmas, especially our captain. Hope you enjoy our homeless quilt. Sincerely Panhandler patrol,” the post’s accompanying text read.
People were outraged by what they saw and called out the two officers.
“Protect and serve? How horrible these so-called officers are,” one commenter wrote. “How is that helpful?! How is that helping communities?”
“Disgusting,” wrote another. “You’re making it illegal to be poor. Shame on all of you. What would Jesus think of you?”
After the post went viral and was covered by local news outlets, Mobile Chief of Police Lawrence Battiste, who, according to AL.com has been a known advocate for the homeless, apologized on behalf of his department for the 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,” Battiste’s statement read. “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.”
You can see the post and more comments HERE.