Cape Cod Times Criticized By Law Enforcement For Editorial Cartoon

Editorial cartoon published in Cape Cod Times on Saturday, July 16, 2016, that has been criticized by local law enforcement.

Editorial cartoon published in Cape Cod Times on Saturday, July 16, 2016, that has been criticized by local law enforcement.

HYANNIS –  The Cape Cod Times is facing criticism from law enforcement and on social media sites about an editorial cartoon addressing the relationship between police and black people.

The cartoon published on Saturday that was drawn by Dave Granland depicts a police car, with the words “Vehicle that white people see…” with an arrow pointing to the cruiser.

Below that is a picture of a hearse and an arrow with the words “Vehicle that black people see…”

The cartoon was immediately criticized by local police departments across the area as disrespectful to law enforcement.

A post on the Yarmouth Facebook page said “SHAMEFUL…Eight Police Officers ambushed and shot to death in the past week and this is posted in the Cape Cod Times. Cape Cod and the Islands Law Enforcement and their Families and Friends deserve much better than this.”

Several hundred comments agreed with the rebuke by the department.

“Disgraceful! Perpetuating the hate that is streaming from every media outlet! I am not sharing to give them better numbers,” wrote a person identified as Terri Lambert.

The cartoon was published in the Saturday morning edition of the Cape Cod Times, just one day before 3 law enforcement officers were shot and killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The week before, 5 Dallas, Texas police officers were murdered in an ambush during a Black Lives Matter protest of the recent police-involved deaths of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

The Cape Cod Times issued the following statement Tuesday morning that apologized for offending people.

“We are sorry to anyone who was offended and we regret the timing of the editorial cartoon published in Saturday’s Cape Cod Times.

Our opinion pages are the home to a range of perspectives and we give wide latitude to our contributors to express their opinions. Cartoons, in particular, can be sensitive because the forum is prone to exaggeration, caricature and hyperbole while making their point.

Surely that was the case with this particular cartoon and we apologize to any who found it objectionable.”

Others posting on social media about the Cape Cod Times cartoon called it disgusting and expressed their support for police officers.

“Absolutely pathetic CC Times. Obviously not trying to help us heal,” wrote Roger Lax in a post.

A few people did make posts indicating that the cartoon was just an opinion. “It’s an opinion piece, folks,” wrote Brian Fitzpatrick Jr. in a post.

Chatham Police Chief Mark Pawlina posted a statement on his department’s Facebook page, calling the cartoon “beyond despicable.”

Pawlina wrote that while a newspaper has a right to express their view, he couldn’t imagine the thought process that went into creating the image and the decision to publish it.

“Police officers are dedicated public servants who put their lives on the line to serve and protect all citizens, no matter what their race, religion or sexual orientation may be. News media organizations such as the Cape Cod Times that put out this type of divisive and incendiary message deserve to be called out,” Pawlina wrote in the post.

Yarmouth Police Department Chaplain David Akin posted a letter to the editor, saying he was “beyond enraged” at the cartoon.

He said it was mind boggling that the paper would inflame the present crisis with a cartoon.

“I have spent my entire life in public safety, and with pride have oft times risked my life to save that of a citizen. I am not a police officer, I am a retired firefighter. This life of service has led me to ordained life that I now serve as chaplain to a fire and police department. The work these men and women do on a daily basis is extremely dangerous, and for our ‘local’ newspaper to feed the confusion with divisive, inflammatory garbage is beyond the pale,” Akin wrote.

The Provincetown Police Department posted a letter from The White House that was sent to law enforcement agencies across the country indicating support for police.

“Some are trying to use this moment to divide police and the communities you serve. I reject those efforts, as they do not reflect the reality of our Nation,” the letter read in part.

By MATT PITTA, CapeCod.com News Director

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Comments

  1. Carol Walsh says:

    It is hard for privileged white people to understand the hate and bias that
    minorities in this country have endured. How many young black, unarmed
    black men have been killed by police officers in this county, by police officers who would otherwise, have given a white man the benefit of the doubt? No one is disputing the service and commitment of police officers. The BLACK LIVES MATTER movement simply points out that white people are given more chances to live than a person of color in the exact same situation. Stop being appalled by the truth and start looking at the reality that people of color face and endure. The hate crimes in this country are being perpetrated by angry WHITE SUPREMISTS. We have a president who states that Nazi, White SUpremists in Charlottesville have a point. Get off your band wagon and start having some understanding for those who have been oppressed.
    It’s time to work together. We are all equal.

    WHITE SUPREMISTS.. Look at the facts. I applaud this cartoon for the truth that it depicts.

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