The Topeka Police Department said it was a "lighthearted" Father's Day tweet—but a lot of people weren't laughing. "Does your child’s father have warrants? Is he carrying around any drugs? Has he been committing any crimes?" the Sunday morning tweet asked. "Want to give him a Father’s Day he'll never forget? Call TPD and we’ll help your family make a memory that will last a lifetime." The tweet was deleted around an hour later and the department apologized Monday, saying the angry reaction from the public was a "learning experience" that showed "words, even when intended to be humorous, can be hurtful to others," the Kansas City Star reports. The department said the tweet came from "a member of our social media team."
University of Kansas student Neill Kennedy tells the Topeka Capital Journal that the tweet backs up her belief that the department is more interested in sending people to jail and removing them from their communities than in promoting solutions like drug treatment plans that would keep fathers with their families. "The apology doesn't address why people were upset about the tweet," she says. Instead, it "just glazes over the material facts of the police continually disrupting family structures and communities for a 'oops we were trying to be funny about locking your dad up, sorry you feel that way' statement." (Bill Cosby's Father's Day tweet was also unpopular.)