The New York Police Department posted a tongue-in-cheek tweet on Saturday gloating they had busted a “turnstile hopper” carrying marijuana, accompanied by a photo of four plain-clothed cops.
The tweet congratulated tattooed police on an apparently “Nice grab by our District 1 team!” and the backlash on Twitter came immediately.
New York City is one of the hardest-hit places in the US with more than 160,000 confirmed cases as of Monday. Many thought searching for non-violent crimes in the midst of a global pandemic was inappropriate, to say the least.
One user commented, "So no gloves, improperly worn masks, no social distancing. Good work continuing to spread a deadly virus to combat...a decriminalized drug that the DA's office will decline to prosecute!"
Marijuana possession was decriminalised in New York last year, as "communities of colour have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana and have suffered the lifelong consequences of an unfair marijuana conviction,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at the time.
“Marijuana possession and jumping a turnstile are both literally a $100 fine each lmao what a bunch of losers to be bragging about this,” one user said.