In the wake of nationwide reports of police-action shootings and attacks on police officers, an Indiana billboard has sparked an outcry in one community.
An electronic billboard in Muncie set off a controversy in the short time it was visible. It read, “Hate cops? The next time you need help call a crackhead.”
“I was very ashamed that something so dividing was present in Muncie,” Megan Thomas told The Star Press. Thomas, who noticed the sign when walking with her niece on Saturday posted a photo on Facebook asking if tax dollars were spent on the sign. She also included contact information for the sign company.
The Facebook post drew positive and negative responses and the sign itself was no longer in rotation according to Thomas who went by later Saturday.
By Monday, two other messages were up on the billboard: “Love, Respect, Support Law Enforcement” and “Love, Support, Support Law Enforcement,” according to The Star Press.
The Star Press reported:
“Chris Johnson, general manager of Muncie Liquors, said he heard about the original sign on Saturday when a clerk at the Wheeling store phoned him about a person coming in to complain about the sign. Noting that Muncie Liquors doesn’t own or operate the billboard, just rents space for it in its parking lot, Johnson said they’d called the billboard company to say they were hearing complaints about the sign, and were told it would be taken down immediately and reworded.”
“This is not us, this is not our mentality, this is not how we feel,” Johnson said.
Muncie Police Sgt. Chris Kirby defended Muncie Liquors on Facebook saying the business “had absolutely nothing to do” with the sign.
Thomas said she was offended that the sign had gone up right before the start of a planned demonstration against police brutality. Though there were many responses to her original Facebook post, Thomas chose to delete many of them because she did not “want anyone else to be targeted.”
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