California police department apologizes for tweet calling Rep. Rashida Tlaib 'un-American' and a 'disgrace'

California police department apologizes for tweet calling Rep. Rashida Tlaib 'un-American' and a 'disgrace'
PBS Newshour

Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan received an apology from the Fontana Police Department in California after being insulted in an unauthorized tweet posted on April 23.


USA Today is reporting that according to the Fontana Police Department, the April 23 tweet (which has since been deleted) was posted by an off-duty employee who had gained access to the Department’s Twitter account, @FontanaPD. The employee’s post read, “Nice knowing you! I became bulimic because I vomit every time I hear your BS. You are one of the most un-American person s (sic) I know. You are a disgrace to the office you hold.”

That tweet linked to a post on a right-wing website, ExplainLife.com, that discussed Tlaib’s criticisms of the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Tlaib, a Muslim who considers ICE anti-immigrant, has voiced her support for the #AbolishIce movement.

After the April 23 tweet attacking Tlaib was removed, the Fontana Police Department tweeted, “If anyone saw the inappropriate tweet that went out earlier, apparently someone gained access to our account. We apologize, and we are working on fixing the issue.”

According to the Daily Bulletin, that employee’s access to the Fontana Police Department’s Twitter account was revoked—and in an official statement, the Fontana Police Department called the tweet “an embarrassment” and told the Bulletin, “This careless act does not reflect the values of the men and women that honorably serve our community.”

The controversy has been addressed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). On April 24, Eugene Fields (manager for CAIR’s Los Angeles chapter) stated, “We contend that the tweet disparages Rep. Tlaib based on her highly-publicized status of being one of the first two Muslim American woman elected to Congress. There are numerous members of Congress within the state of California who are vocal critics of ICE, and they (are not) being called ‘un-American’ for their criticism.”

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