September 22, 2020

Chief apologizes after Alabama cops pose with ‘homeless quilt’ in mocking social post

Two Alabama police officers are under fire after they apparently posed with a “homeless quilt” made from cardboard signs confiscated from the city’s homeless population. The police chief has publicly apologized.

The pair of cops posted the photo on social media where it quickly went viral, being shared thousands of times. What they apparently thought was funny has widely been criticized as being insensitive.

The photo was shared with along with the following post:

“Wanna wish everybody in 4th precinct a Merry Christmas, especially our captain. Hope you enjoy our homeless quilt! Sincerely, Panhandler patrol.”

“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,” Mobile Chief of Police Lawrence Battiste wrote in a public apology.

“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,” he wrote. “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.”

The City of Mobile first passed laws restricting panhandling in certain parts of the city in 2010.