A Rhode Island police department is reviewing its Facebook policy after a remark about a suspect, made on the official department page, led to a complaint.
Warwick police arrested an 18-year-old and a juvenile in the department’s parking lot Sunday night, after officers caught the pair stealing hubcaps off a marked police cruiser — as well as other equipment.
Police announced the arrest on Facebook and posted a mug shot of the older teen, Shawn Bartis, with the caption: “Stupid is as stupid does” – taking a line from the movie, Forrest Gump.
Bartis’s brother called local news station, WJAR-TV, and told reporters police shouldn’t have called his brother stupid. The department received some backlash on social media and reportedly removed the photo, replacing the famous movie quote with: “You can’t make this stuff up.”
Also written on the updated post, was this statement: “In the interest of not besmirching a young man for his mistake, the picture and jocularity has been removed-thanks to a few rational comments from our FB friends concerning professionalism.”
Col. Stephen McCartney told NBC 10 that moving forward, the department will make sure anything posted to its Facebook page is professional.