A Police department in Indiana has prompted outrage from the local community and a wider audience on social media by seemingly mocking the last words of police brutality victim Eric Garner.
The Indianapolis police department tweeted using the hashtag ‘#WeCanBreathe’ when responding to a post criticizing arrests made during protests related to the failure to indict the NYPD officer who executed an illegal chokehold on Garner, leading to his death.
Garner’s last words were “I can’t breathe,” prompting social media users and protesters to adopt the words as part of their activities.
Defending police action as appropriate, the Indianapolis PD tweeted “…communication with those involved was peaceful and appropriate but some opted for arrest by #choice, #WeCanBreathe.”
The tweet was later deleted after backlash, but a screenshot was captured by the Indianapolis Star.
Twitter users hit back at the post:
— Timothy McCall (@timothycmccall) December 5, 2014
— Melvin Mccray (@SPIKEMEL25) December 5, 2014
— Kyra Harvey (@kyrajisme) December 5, 2014
— Chris Brummett (@Faeya) December 5, 2014
— Chubby (@DreamDeRaeDream) December 5, 2014
Indianapolis public information officer Kendale Adams took responsibility for the tweet and attempted to backtrack, stating “Our intent was not what people are jumping on the bandwagon for.”
— IMPD (@IMPD_News) December 5, 2014
“Our issue has nothing to do with Eric Garner. As an African-American officer, why would I touch that issue?” Adams added, ending with an apology that came across as more of an afterthought. “We don’t have a doctorate in Twitter,” Adams said. “We’re learning. That was a learning opportunity. We apologize.”
The incident comes in the wake of shocking comments from some police officers responding to the grand jury decision not to indict Daniel Pantaleo by celebrating the fact that they would now be given free reign to “kick some thug ass.”
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.