A high-ranking Minneapolis police official apologized for a Facebook post about homicide investigations that sparked controversy online and drew rebukes from both Chief Medaria Arradondo and the NAACP.
The criticism started after Cmdr. Kim Lund Voss posted a photo of an old T-shirt with crime scene tape and a chalk outline of a body drawn on it, and the words: "MINNEAPOLIS POLICE HOMOCIDE DIVISION Our Day Starts When Yours Ends." The phrase is commonly found on police-themed T-shirts, mugs and other memorabilia.
In a caption that accompanied the photo, Voss wrote that she was "organizing the storage room and came across this gem!"
"It pays to proof read before you hit 'print,'" she wrote on her publicly available Facebook page, referring to the misspelling of the word "homicide."
A screengrab of Voss' post began circulating on Monday, and caught the attention of Minneapolis NAACP President Leslie Redmond, who wrote on her Facebook page that she was "disturbed" that someone of Voss' rank would make a potentially homophobic and racially charged remark.
"I do not think this was about the misspelling of the word homicide," Redmond wrote. "This is extremely insensitive, especially considering the involved demographics."
Arradondo also weighed in, saying that neither the photo nor the caption reflected "the values and transformational culture that we are as a department today."
"That item does not exist in any part of our current MPD," he said in a statement posted to the department's Facebook page on Monday evening. "As Chief, I want to apologize to those we serve for any hurt or distrust this image has caused."
It wasn't immediately clear whether the post violated department policy or if Voss would face any internal discipline.
In a follow-up post, Voss said that she deleted the earlier post after being "told that the photo of a 25ish year old t-shirt that I found in a storage bin came across to some as offensive."
She apologized and said she never intended to offend anyone, but rather "to show that misprints commonly occurred back in the days before spell-checker."
Most commenters on the department's Facebook page defended Voss, with some saying that she shouldn't have to apologize for the sensitivity of others. Voss, who started with the department in 1987, has been in charge of the Juvenile Division since August 2018, according to a biography on the department's website.
Libor Jany • 612-673-4064 Twitter: @StribJany