Four officers arouse outrage by posing for photo with smiling shirtless bank robbery suspect in handcuffs after massive manhunt in Mississippi
- Police caused outrage when they posed for a photo with suspect Eric Boykin in Prentiss, Mississippi on Tuesday.
- Boykin was charged with robbing a bank at gunpoint and fleeing the crime scene
- Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, joined the manhunt
- He was found about 550 yards from the bank in a wooded area after multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and ATF, joined the manhunt
- Four officers were seen crowded around Boykin after handcuffing him
- The image immediately sparked backlash on social media when critics slapped the cops for turning the grave ordeal into a silly photo op
- It is unclear which agency the agents in the photo came from
- A source of Prentiss police said they believed the officers were from Louisiana
Four officers have come under fire after posing for a photo of a smiling, shirtless and handcuffed bank robbery after a massive manhunt in Mississippi.
The photo appeared a day after Eric Boykin was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly holding a Hancock Bank in the small town of Prentiss and fled the scene.
Multiple federal and state law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and ATF, joined the search before Boykin was found in a wooded area about 550 yards from the bank, according to WLBT.
The outlet published the photo of Boykin – smiling – flanked by four armed officers and three police dogs. Two of the officers smiled, including one of the officers who has his hand on Boykin’s shoulder.
The image immediately caused a backlash on social media when critics slapped the cops for turning the grave ordeal into a silly photo op.
Four agents have come under fire after posing for photo (above) with smiling, shirtless and handcuffed bank robbery suspect Eric Boykin after a massive manhunt in Mississippi
The image immediately sparked backlash on social media when critics slapped the cops for turning the grave ordeal into a silly photo op
It remains unclear to which body the officers belonged. Prentiss Police Investigator Richard Browning confirmed to DailyMail.com that the officers were not part of his department and speculated they may have come from Louisiana to join the search.
“I didn’t even know about the photo until reporters started calling me,” Browning told DailyMail.com. ‘It’s unfortunate. I agree it has a bad taste. ‘
According to WLBT, the only Louisiana law enforcement agency known to be involved in the search was a K9 team from the Louisiana State Prison System. DailyMail.com left a message looking for comment.
Critics on Twitter said the photo resembled hunters displaying their animal trophy.
Josie Duffy Rice, a criminal justice system reporter and chair of the ‘Appeal’ tweeted, “ So either 1) none of those involved, from the agents to the news station to the staffer who posted this, realized what a bad look this is or 2) they know what it looks like, which is why they posted it. Those are the only two possibilities! and they are both very, very bad. ‘
This photo has a very disturbing ‘big game hunt’. Like, how did it come about? “Hey guys, get together so we can remember this moment, bring the dogs!” I hope I’m wrong, ‘said another Twitter user.
OMG. The officers look like they are posing with a lion or deer they shot. This is twisted, ”said one Twitter user.
And who would be considered the ‘animal’ in this ‘big game’ hunt? And is there a history of dehumanizing and comparing black people to animals? if that’s the mindset of these agents – taking a picture of their ‘trophy,’ then it’s definitely about race, ‘said one Twitter user in a long list of responses to Rice’s tweet.
Some of Twitter’s anger was directed at the news station that ran the photo, which is still attached to their story of the arrest, but has since been removed from Twitter.
Mark Little, director of WLBT News, declined comment Thursday morning, but said the news outlet followed protocols to secure the photo from a source, and he said. “more information could come out today”, but was not further explained.
Originally, WLBT sent the photo to Prentiss police and then changed to ‘Special for WLBT’.
“ If I were running a news channel’s social media, I just wouldn’t post photos that look like human trophies chasing clicks, ” someone on Twitter said.
Another Twitter user simply said, ‘Um, no one at the news station has thought about this?