A Sherriff's office in Mobile, AL is being criticized for posting the photo of their "Thugshot" Christmas tree with the following caption:
"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 tree is real, the ornaments Photoshopped mugshots. The post garnered over 7,000 comments, most criticizing the insensitivity of it, before it was taken down.
According to a local news station, the post went on to say:
"Throughout the month of December we are offering ALL MOBILE COUNTY THUGS a special Christmas offer. Come to 510 South Royal Street and you will get to pick out one item from our property room! That’s right…any of the things that your friend THUGS have stolen will be available for you! 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'."
Some criticisms of the post:
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alabama:
"The majority of people arrested for crimes struggle with mental illness and substance use issues. They need the community's assistance and care, not open scorn from leaders. We hope the Sheriff and his employees hear the resounding disdain their actions have brought and realize this type of divisive and cruel messaging does not serve the community."
"...inappropriate, shameful, disrespectful, despicable, disgusting and embarrassing to the citizens of Mobile County. We live in a very volatile time. I mean, the relationships between law enforcement and the general public has been compromised. Not only that, but we are living during a pandemic right now where everyone needs to be focused on the same goal and that is having as many people helping each other or to help navigate through this atrocity that is going on right now."