Usually when you hear of someone posting something stupid and offensive on Snapchat, your mind conjures images of college kids or… college kids. Or… college kids. But, it turns out, racist Snapchats aren't just for dorm room dummies. Even law enforcement is getting in on the action.
Authorities in two Pennsylvania communities confirmed this week that Melissa Adamson is no longer employed as a police officer in the city of McKeesport, nor in the borough of Versailles. According to WTAE, Adamson was fired this week from her position in McKeesport after her superiors were alerted to a Snapchat photo in which she wrote "I'm the law today nigga," while dressed in uniform. She subsequently resigned from her role as a part-time officer in Versailles on Tuesday night.
On Facebook, McKeesport mayor Michael Cherepko expressed dismay at Adamson's conduct (she is not named) and announced her firing.
Speaking with KDKA, Cherepko explained that Adamson was a recent hire and still a probationary employee in training.
WTAE reported that the uniform worn in Adamson's offensive post is actually that of the Pitcairn police department, where she had worked prior to her positions in McKeesport and Versailles. In a Facebook post, the Pitcairn police department acknowledged the Snapchat picture, calling the language in it "unacceptable."
Adamson has since apologized for the post, telling WTAE it was a "stupid mistake."
"Everyone that knows me knows I don’t have a racist bone in my body," Adamson said. "And people who don’t know me, I can understand why it was misconstrued to where it looks racist. But like I said, everyone who knows me knows I'm not racist."
"I don't want this to affect how I do my job. I don't want people to look at me differently, thinking that I can't build myself up to the standard of a police officer," she continued. "Again, it was a stupid mistake. It shouldn't have been posted in general, regardless of how my intentions were."
Adamson's dismissal occurred just over two months after two Memphis police officers were suspended for sharing offensive snapchat of their own—one depicting a white hand holding a pistol aimed at an emoji of a black child
Both cases comes as law enforcement has increasingly turned to social media as a place for clandestine intelligence gathering and snooping on potential suspects. As Fusion's Sidney Fussell noted recently, both Twitter and Facebook have seen a marked increase in the number of overall requests from, and compliance to, law enforcement agencies looking for data from the two platforms.
According to Adamson, the Snapchat photo was circulated by another former police officer in an attempt damage her reputation following an unspecified "altercation" between the two.
"I'm sorry for who I did offend," Adamson told WTAE. "It was not my intention. I can't express how sorry I am for how I made you feel — emotionally, physically. Again, it wasn’t my intention."