New Zealand Police Have Apologised After Posting One Of The Worst Possible Memes
Time for police memes to end.
Police memes are genuinely the worst. At their best, they’re awkward attempts to make cops #relatable while neatly sidestepping the need to engage with real problems with the police. At their worst, they’re misguided attempts to tap into popular culture that backfire and highlight those aforementioned problems.
Today we saw a perfect (and by perfect we mean horrible) example of the latter, when the bright spark behind the New Zealand Police Twitter account made a really, really ill-advised tweet. It featured a picture of Michael Scott from The Office saying “this is the worst”, with the caption “when we have to tell someone their family member has died in a crash”.
NZ Police posted, then deleted, this meme today – before apologising saying they 'quickly realised' it was wrong and insensitive. Ofc pic.twitter.com/aYQ7xtnUlB
— James O'Doherty (@jmodoh) October 9, 2017
If you’re not familiar with The Office, all you need to know is that Michael Scott is known for saying “this is the worst” about truly, truly insignificant things. His face in the picture above says it all, really. The tweet blatantly trivialises the hundreds of car crash fatalities that occur each year. Understandably, people were really unhappy about it.
OK, it's only Monday, but this tweet by NZ Police already takes the booby prize for social media fail of the week. Tone-deaf. pic.twitter.com/w4xG3NAyPL
— Nik Dirga (@nikdirga) October 9, 2017
The IPCA has been saying for 14 years that police pursuit policy needs to change because it results in unnecessary and avoidable deaths lol pic.twitter.com/ytTnXmqvEd
— justine ? (@precariatqueer) October 9, 2017
i'm sorry it's difficult for you – but i'm glad you've reached the point that you can make light of the worst day of many peoples lives
— Morrissey in 2017 (@thoms_left_eye) October 9, 2017
New Zealand Police were quick to recognise the error. The tweet was deleted within an hour of being posted, and they’ve since tweeted an apology acknowledging the offence caused.
We apologise for the recent road safety tweet. We quickly realised it was wrong & insensitive & it was immediately deleted. Thx for feedback
— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) October 9, 2017
Still, though, preferable to an apology would be a police force that didn’t tweet this kind of thing in the first place. As Twitter user @pinkyfang put it, “nobody needs a cool & hip police force, we need a competent & empathetic one”.
@nzpolice stop this, nobody needs a cool & hip police force, we need a competent & empathetic one
— PINKY FANG (@PINKYFANG) October 9, 2017