Miami PD Responds After ‘Black History Month Squad Car’ Mocked Online
Miami Police Chief Manuel Morales responded yesterday to backlash over his department’s new ‘Black History Month’ cruiser. Since its unveiling on Thursday, the cruiser has been the subject of ridicule online. In a video posted at 7:03 pm Saturday, the chief lamented, “I learned that I can’t always make everybody happy. No matter what you do, you’re always going to have critics.”
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It seemed to be a rare moment of bipartisanship. The revealing of a Miami police cruiser, adorned with pan-African colors and decorated with images of Africa, sparked an immediate reaction online. One video of the ceremony reached over 23 million views on Twitter and was shared almost 15,000 times.
The department had intended the cruiser to be a thoughtful gesture to its officers. “Today we honor and celebrate Miami Police Black History… Among all of the officers who were in attendance to commemorate the unveiling were some of our very first black police officers,” Miami PD said in a statement.
Today we honor and celebrate Miami Police Black History with unveiling of our new Black History vehicle. Among all of the officers who were in attendance to commemorate the unveiling were some of our very first black police officers. #BlackHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/Vi6blGVYha
— Miami PD (@MiamiPD) February 2, 2023
As for everyone else…
THIS CANNOT BE.
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@SIfill_) February 2, 2023
Criticism ranged across the political spectrum, with commentators calling it racist, woke, or just plain tone deaf. Interestingly, the car’s design received the full approval of the department’s black police union prior to the unveiling. Still, that didn’t stop anybody on either side of the aisle from mocking and memeing the Miami PD’s new addition…
Liberal “Justice Correspondent” Elie Mystal incredulously tweeted, “… … Wut Is This? ????????”
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) February 2, 2023
Washington Post columnist Karen Attiah said in all-caps, “I AM WHEEZING”
I AM WHEEZING https://t.co/QGdYPy6hee
— Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah) February 2, 2023
Former Libertarian candidate for governor Hector Roos joked that the car would help the public feel safer.
Nothing quite says "I'm the police and I'm here to protect you" better than a Black History Month themed police car.
— Hector Roos for Florida Governor (@RoosforFlorida) February 3, 2023
Commentator and former NYPD officer John Cardillo said that Miami’s republican mayor should just switch parties if he is going to keep “constantly pandering to woke BS”
.@MiamiMayor @FrancisSuarez needs to switch parties already.
He’s a far left Dem constantly pandering to woke BS. https://t.co/2Ldgr4yx5l
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) February 3, 2023
Digital Strategist Greg Price, on the other hand, praised the design, crediting it with finally ending racism once and for all.
The CEO of racism just had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. https://t.co/ZCA7hHB7uI
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 2, 2023
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The unveiling was done as a joint effort between Miami PD and the Mayor’s office. At the ceremony, Mayor Francis Suarez said, “This is a beautiful collaboration to commemorate black history and Black History Month and the history of African Americans and our police department and our city.” The Mayor also took the opportunity to boast that the department had received fewer complaints against officers than the previous year.
Hopefully, internet complaints do not count.
What the hell 🤣 https://t.co/lipITHwBpB
— Hodgetwins (@hodgetwins) February 3, 2023
Police Chief Morales posted his response video to Twitter, apologizing to anyone who was offended, but maintaining that the department had good intentions. Miami Police Benevolent Society President Sgt. Stanley Jean-Poix said that the department had a tradition of decorating their cruisers to bring awareness for different causes, including breast cancer, autism, and military veterans.
Yesterday we unveiled our 1st Black History Month Vehicle which created many questions on Social Media. Some came from our community but many from outside of our community.
Chief Morales and the @MCPBA1946 decided to provide insight on our BHM Vehicle and it’s creation. pic.twitter.com/BmwSKKx5bB
— Miami PD (@MiamiPD) February 4, 2023
“As long as you are doing the right thing for the right reasons, I think your moral compass is aiming in the right direction,” Morales said. “And as long as I am at the lead of this agency, and I am entrusted with guiding the incredibly brave, courageous, and honorable men and women of Miami Police Department, I will continue that charge.”