- A Facebook post from Mobile Police Officer Preston McGraw showed him and Officer Alex Olivier holding a “homeless quilt” made out of panhandler signs
- McGraw appears to have removed his account after the post was screenshotted and went viral on social media
- Mobile Police Chief Lawerence Battiste apologized for the post on Monday but it is not clear if any action has been taken against either officer or if department policy was violated
Mobile Alabama Police Officer Preston McGraw appears to have deleted his Facebook after posting an insensitive picture where he and Officer Alex Olivier posed with a collection of cardboard signs taken from panhandlers they had made into a “homeless quilt.”
“Homeless Quilt” Post From Patrick McGraw
Before it was removed the post was screenshot and began going viral on Twitter, but has since spread to other social media platforms as well. “Wanna wish everybody in 4th precinct a Merry Christmas , especially our captain,” McGraw wrote. “Hope you enjoy our homeless quilt!” Mcgraw signed the post, “Sincerely, Panhandler patrol.” McGraw tagged Olivier—who goes by “Alex Marc” on Facebook—and two other people in the post.
americans are insanely evil pic.twitter.com/rl90hz44BZ— ❄️🐐 Goth Ms. Krampus 👹❄️ (@spookperson) December 30, 2019
After the post went viral, Mobile Police Chief Lawerence Battiste apologized in a post on the Mobile Police Department Facebook page. “We offer our sincerest apology for the insensitive gesture of a Facebook post by two of our officers where they are holding up a homeless ‘quilt’ made of panhandling signs,” Lawerence wrote.
As a police department entrusted with serving and protecting our community, we offer our sincerest apology for the insensitive gesture of a Facebook post by two of our officers where they are holding up a homeless ‘quilt,’ made of panhandling signs. Although we do not condone panhandling and must enforce the city ordinances that limit panhandling, it is never our intent or desire as a police department to make light of those who find themselves in a homeless state. Rather, our position has always been to partner with our community service providers to help us help those faced with homelessness with hope to improve their quality of life.Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste Via Facebook
Apology Not Accepted
The response to the apology has been about as bad as you can imagine, if not worse. “I can just imagine how those 2 officers do treat the homeless when having to deal with them. It’s sad to see the officers act like this and then want the public to treat them with respect too,” one person wrote.
Another comment reads, “The officers, the person taking the photo, the person that posted this and their supervisors should all be fired! They all have shown they lack the professionalism and empathy required to obtain public trust!” The department has yet to clarify if the post violated any department policies or if any action was taken against the two officers. It is not clear when McGraw’s Facebook was removed or why it was removed aside from the obvious.