Social media makes it easy to generate a controversy.
Deputy Inspector Janice Holmes, Commanding Officer of NYPD’s 100th Precinct, faced backlash after the precinct’s official Twitter account shared a tweet that included the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
The tweet honored legendary boxer Jack Johnson, the first black man to hold the title of World Heavyweight Champion, as part of Black History Month.
The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag at the end of the Friday tweet quickly drew attention, with several social Twitter users blasting the use of a slogan that many interpret as conveying anti-police sentiment.
How can a precinct commander lead people when she aligns herself with a group that is known to hate law enforcement and wants police officers dead?
— Daniel L. McCaughan (@DanMcCaughan) February 10, 2018
I’m a retired NYPD PO & embarrassed that a Commanding Officer would tweet with #Blacklivesmatter This month is suppose to celebrate great accomplishments by black Americans, not celebrate a Hate group that wants to Kill Cops for doing their jobs. Maybe u were Promoted to early?
— Mike Collins (@MikeCollins454) February 10, 2018
Did you really reference an organization that calls for dead cops? Clearly you’re out of touch with the troops and are a political appointee. You’re a disgrace. Retire and go lead a march somewhere.
— Meat Pilot (@0311MeatPilot) February 10, 2018
Later on Friday, the tweet was modified to end with the hashtag #BlackHistoryMonth instead of #BlackLivesMatter.
— NYPD 100th Precinct (@NYPD100Pct) February 10, 2018
The change brought criticism from supporters of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, who said the original tweet should have been left as was.
I’d say that the objection to the hashtag by the NYPD itself just shows that the objectors aren’t motivated by anything the movement actually stands for, it rather their own ignorance and racism.
— A Steel Magnolia (@bethanylscott) February 10, 2018
It was nothing wrong with the previous post. This is black history month and the reason why we have this month set aside for us is because for so long in this country black lives have not mattered. #blacklivematter
— Cerone Anderson (@Enorec) February 10, 2018
Activist Rev. Al Sharpton also weighed in on the issue, NY Daily News reported.
“Why is she apologizing for putting up a slogan about the fight we are all involved in,” Sharpton asked on Saturday. “Our slogan used to be ‘We shall overcome,’ now it’s ‘Black Lives Matter.’”
A police source said Holmes told her superiors she didn’t write the tweet. A spokesperson for NYPD said “There is no indication that any discipline will be given out,” and confirmed another officer wrote the tweet on Holmes’ behalf.
Holmes has three sisters who also serve in the NYPD, one as the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens North.
Some pro-police Twitter users were willing to have Holmes the benefit of the doubt.
Do not punish or condemn the commander for the previous hashtag, I am pretty damn sure she isn’t anti-cop considering herself and some of her closest family members are also cops.
— Anthony Mangiarciana (@AnthonyM122) February 10, 2018
never stand for anyone that wanted good intentioned police officers dead or hurt or fired. She made a minor mistake, corrected it, and she is someone I would want on the scene if I was in a tough spot.
— Larry Hotaling (@LarryHotalingJr) February 10, 2018
Is this a case of an unfortunate typo or a speedy denial?