A black New York City Police Department commander is receiving sharp criticism from other law enforcement officers after her police precinct’s account tweeted out the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on Friday.
According to the New York Daily News, Deputy Inspector Janice Holmes, who commands the NYPD’s 100th Precinct in the city’s Queens borough, is facing backlash from fellow officers following the controversial tweet, which lauded the accomplishments of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson.
“Jack Johnson became the first African-American man to hold the World Heavyweight Champion boxing title in 1908. ... #Blacklivesmatter,” the tweet read in part.
It didn’t take long for officers to sound off about the BLM hashtag, the Daily News reports:
“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 McCaughan wrote about Holmes, who is black.
Some cops claimed that the hashtag celebrated a “hate group” that wanted to kill police officers. Police sources told the Daily News that Holmes denied writing the tweet and had it changed later that same day.
Replacing “#BlackLivesMatter” was “#BlackHistoryMonth.”
Comments underneath the new tweet showed both defenders and detractors of Black Lives Matter.
One user, @angelomartinez, noted that he hated seeing the original tweet removed, tweeting: “#Black Lives Matter is against police CORRUPTION and wants officers to be held accountable for their crimes against the community. It is not anti-police, unless you’re suggesting all cops are corrupt.”
Another user wrote, “[A]s a former MP US Army Officer you were right the first time.”
Civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton even weighed in over the weekend.
“Why is [Holmes] apologizing for putting up a slogan about the fight we are all involved in,” Sharpton commented Saturday. “Our slogan used to be ‘We shall overcome,’ now it’s ‘Black lives matter.’”
An NYPD spokesman confirmed that another officer had put up the tweet on Deputy Inspector Holmes’ behalf, and that “there is no indication that any discipline will be given out.” The Daily News reports that NYPD social media accounts are strictly monitored, with firm guidelines about what is and isn’t appropriate to post.