On Thursday evening, the Boston Police Department tweeted—then deleted— a picture of three black children smiling next to what was apparently an official BPD ice cream truck.
“The #BPD Ice Cream Truck gives kids a reason to run towards our officers and not away from them,” the department wrote. “And - you know what - we love that!!!”
LOL! Running away from cops, a group known to be racist towards black people, sure is a hilarious topic for some fun Twitter wordplay.
Others on Twitter were, um, decidedly less impressed.
The ice cream truck, purchased by the department last year for nearly $90,000, was bought as part of a community engagement project known as “Operation Hoodsie Cup,” which distributes free ice cream throughout the city. Which, fine?
But can cops stop mistaking “giving away tasty treats” for “addressing the roots of people’s mistrust of their local police”? Particularly in Boston, where the courts have ruled that, in fact, black men who deliberately avoid police have legitimate reason to do so, and should not necessarily be deemed suspicious as a result.
Which is all to say, give people some ice cream. But don’t think for a minute that handing out waffle cones is the same thing as fixing the criminal justice system.