The Kentucky State Police tweeted a rape joke during the Superbowl yesterday, and they have since apologized.
The official account of the Kentucky State Police (@kystatepolice) posted this message last night during the Superbowl:
Enjoy watching @Robgronkoski (TE) play but if you drink & drive…your tight-end may end up in jail! #designateddriver #Super Bowl
If the joke wasn’t clear enough, the KY police included an image of soap-on-a-rope.
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Grimes (D) tweeted, “Rape & sexual assault are not joking matters.” She asked the police to apologize.
— Alison L. Grimes (@AlisonForKY) February 5, 2018
And they did. The original tweet was deleted and a message was posted apologizing and saying that it was posted by “an individual employee” and “does not represent” the Kentucky State Police.
The Kentucky State Police apologizes for the inappropriate tweet that appeared on our Twitter feed earlier tonight. Making light of sexual assault is never acceptable, and we apologize for the distress this tweet caused, particularly to the victims of these heinous crimes. KSP is committed to protecting against sexual assault and fighting for justice for victims. This tweet – made by an individual employee – does not represent KSP or our mission.
In response to the tweet from earlier this evening. pic.twitter.com/GdwAYD8e0J
— KY State Police (@kystatepolice) February 5, 2018
When I was in high school a police officer came to talk to us about drugs and made a bunch of prison rape jokes. We were teenagers and this adult thought that rape was an appropriate punishment for any crime, and he was teaching us to laugh about rape.
So I can imagine an officer posting that tweet, thinking it was hilarious because we live in a culture that doesn’t care much about rape. The police are the last people we’d expect to condone violent crime, but there’s something about rape that makes people think that it’s not a big deal.
But then it appears that someone with a brain saw the tweet (and maybe Grimes’s response) and got the police’s PR person to work on Sunday to fix their mistake. Prisoners have sued states for negligence in cases where they were repeatedly raped and corrections officers did nothing. This tweet could be Exhibit A one day.