The Mobile County Sheriff's Office, headed by Sheriff Sam Cochran, thought it would be a good idea to post a picture on Facebook of a Christmas Tree festooned with the mugshots of people they had arrested this year. They called it their "Thughsot" Christmas Tree.
They received over 7,900 comments on the post. A few of them were supportive but the vast majority of the comments were critical and condemning.
The Mobile branch of the NAACP was especially condemning of the office's insensitivity:
The Mobile branch of the NAACP called the post "unacceptable" and said it has reached out to the Sheriff's Office on two occasions, with no response. President Robert Clopton said that "irate" residents have contacted him about the post.
"We live in a very volatile time," said Clopton in a statement, demanding accountability. "I mean, the relationships between law enforcement and the general public has been compromised. Not only that, but we are living during a pandemic right now where everyone needs to be focused on the same goal and that is having as many people helping each other or to help navigate through this atrocity that is going on right now."
"This is inappropriate, shameful, disrespectful, despicable, disgusting and embarrassing to the citizens of Mobile County," Clopton said.
The Sheriff's Office said that it wasn't a real picture and that they had photoshopped the mugshots onto the tree.
They eventually took down the post, not because they finally realized what a boneheaded stunt it was, but because they had allegedly received some death threats over it.
But even then, they still defended the post:
Lori Myles, a spokesperson for the Mobile County Sheriff's Department, told al.com that the photos are actually Photoshopped onto the tree, and not on display at the department's offices. Myles also said that the tree is a "good thing," showing the community that "career criminals" were taken off the streets.
When someone is that utterly stupid and dense, it makes me wonder who helps them tie their shoelaces in the morning.