Police get death threats after sheriff’s department ‘decorates’ Christmas tree with ‘thugshots’

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MOBILE, AL – Maybe they did, or maybe they didn’t – expect such incredible reactions on both sides of the subject, that is – when the Mobile, Alabama area sheriff’s department decorated their department’s Christmas tree with “thugshots.” 

These “thugshots” serve to inform the community of just how many “thugs” the department has taken off the streets of Mobile, by creating hanging Christmas tree decorations out of criminals’ mugshots.

A photo of a Christmas tree shared by an Alabama Sheriff’s office has sparked outrage online for its “offensive” decorations. The tree appeared to be adorned with what officials called “thugshots” — images of people who have been arrested in the area.

A post on the sheriff’s department Facebook page was explained to journalists at WKRG, Mobile’s CBS affiliate:

“We have decorated our Tree with THUGSHOTS to show how many Thugs we have taken off the streets of Mobile this year! We could not have done it without our faithful followers!”

The post also included a “special offer” to all Mobile County “thugs.” It appeared to be taunting supposed criminals in the area, offering to provide them with a “concierge corrections officer” to take them to jail and give them a “custom fitting” for a “holiday jumpsuit.”

Lori Myles, a spokesperson for the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, related that their effort was one to celebrate the community support and help they’d received that helped them take the criminals off the streets.

Reactions – 529 and counting – were mostly positive, but some didn’t support the move.

Erica McArthur wrote:

“For the people that don’t understand what’s wrong with this, I hope you never know the pain that comes with having a loved one incarcerated. Those mug shots are humiliating, not just for the subject in them, but for those who love and care about them as well. Embarrassing them embarrasses those who love them, too.”

Erica got some straight responses to her pleading:

Holly Star wrote in response:

“Erica McArthur – Same goes for the pain of being a victim of a criminal!”

Some reactions were downright violent in nature:

Erik Mann wrote:

“Here’s a holiday wish for the Sheriffs office….I hope their deputies get everything they deserve. And I don’t mean that as being supportive of them . I hope they bleed. It’s incidents like this that show why a LOT of people hate cops, don’t respect them.”

Emily Brown wrote:

“Let me tell ya,. No I don’t feel sorry for him. He should have known better. BUT if I saw someone “celebrating” his mugshot, then there would be hell to pay. They are humans too. You could have done “Americans Most Wanted” pictures OR I saw a cute tree with crime scene tape, fake donuts, and coffee mugs. Why do something like this? This is pathetic. ANYTHING but this.”

Again…and louder, for the ones in the back…

“My cousin is in prison for attempted murder…”

Mostly positive – Jerri Lynn Holman wrote:

“You all whining about the mug shots on the tree for the world to see.  Pick a name, do an internet search and it comes up with their mug shot and most all the details of what they did….For the world to see! Bless y’alls Bleeding Hearts…”

Terra Koen wrote:

“What’s the difference in them putting them on the Christmas tree and then posting the mugshots on a daily? Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean there’s not criminals out there. They did it to themselves!!!!!!!! I solute WKRG for this! I see no issue in this.”

Tonya Rychelle Jones responded:

“These people are criminals and have committed crimes!!!They need to be EMBARRASSED!!!! Maybe these will encourage others to straighten up and do right!!!

It’s actually kind of hilarious to me! They called it how they see it!”

And then there’s the over-the-top reaction.  With a great response reaction.

Ifesowapo Olajumoke Omowale wrote:

“If Chief Bastiste put up a christmas tree with all white people on it, before due process was done, Alabama would have called for head. This is another example of how trumps culture has permeated even the most shred of decency. There is nothing funny about this and the trump brainwashed cult member who did it should be fired and force to apologize to the citizens of Mobile. These racists truly believe that trump has given them a license to demean, sabatoge, lie and circumvent the law at any cost. I never thought I’d see Alabama going backwards, and the Mayor apparently finds nothing wrong with it.”

Ashley Whitehurst responded:

“Ifesowapo Olajumoke Omowale – there was mostly white men on the tree…”

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Grinchmas: New York City uses police buses, plastic sheets to block view of Rockefeller tree lighting

December 4, 2020

NEW YORK CITY, NY In what appears to have been an attempt to hinder crowds from gathering to view the famous tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center, NYPD buses were lined up with black plastic sheeting taped in between them. 

However, if this was an effort to prevent crowds from gathering for the Dec. 2nd lighting, it seems to have been a failed endeavor — as a crowd  managed to amass anyway despite the very limited view. 

While this year’s tree lighting didn’t attract the thousands who normally congregate to watch the lights get switched on, it was still a spectacle.  

Video published by FNTV showed the police buses  lined up and connected by the black plastic sheeting to form a visual barricade. 

Ironically, this crowd that had bunched themselves together to get what limited view they could muster might be a tad worse than what would’ve normally transpired with ample room — but that’s merely speculative. 

Apparently someone present in the crowd had the wherewithal to simply remove the plastic sheeting that was placed in between two of the buses — affording at glimpse of the 75-foot-tall Norway spruce in all its glory.  

Following the lighting of the tree itself, a host of new rules have been established for locals and tourists who wish to go rockin’ around the Christmas tree this season. 

The plaza where the tree is located is closed to the public, and those looking to gaze at the holiday splendor must do so from what’s been dubbed “specific tree-viewing zones” on either side of  the plaza in Manhattan. 

But it’s not quite as simple as heading over to these tree-viewing zones. 

Would-be spectators will have to scan a QR code to reserve a spot in a virtual line. They will then receive a text message when it’s their turn to make their jolly way over to the designated viewing area. 

These designated viewing areas will have specific pods, which can hold up to four people who may then look at the tree — for up to five minutes. 

Of course, these measures run in concurrence with mandated masks and social distancing being practiced. 

Some out-of-towners are a little disappointed with the Rockefeller Tree experience this time around. Heather Ruark, a visitor from Maryland, remarked on how this year’s experience is going to pale in comparison to her 2019 trip: 

“We actually brought the kids here last year and they got to see the tree and go ice skating and it was wonderful and, unfortunately, we were hoping to have a similar experience this time.”

Simone Jackson, from Florida, is merely appreciative that the tradition of lighting the tree was at least upheld during the era of the pandemic: 

“It’s beautiful. It’s a tradition. They’ve done it every year, so I think it’s everybody’s dream to celebrate Christmas in New York and get to see that monumental tree.”

So while the traditional ceremony of flipping on the switch to the 50,000 lights was a little marred this time around, at least people will still be able to see the tree this year – even if it’s for only five minutes at a time. 

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