Police in the US have come under fire after posting an image of them posing with a suspect caught in a manhunt.
The four police officers in the picture have been criticised for posing with alleged bank robber suspect, Eric Boykin, who they arrested in Prentiss, Mississippi on Tuesday.
In the picture, Boykin is shirtless and being held on the ground with his hands behind his back, while four officers and multiple police dogs surround him.
The suspect is accused of robbing a bank in Prentiss and fleeing the scene. Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in tracking him down, including the FBI.
Boykin was found in a wooded area near the bank where the officers posed for the bizarre picture.
The image was initially published by Mississippi news outlet WLBT and quickly sparked backlash for what some people saw as having dehumanising and potentially racist undertones.
It was taken down by the news site but reposted by Yashar Ali on Twitter, who said, “My God”.
One person wrote: “If this image were sepia toned, you’d be hard pressed to tell if it was from 1826 or 2021.”
Another commented: “This picture has a very unsettling 'big game hunt' vibe. Like, how did it come about? ‘Hey guys, gather 'round so we can remember this moment, bring the dogs!’ I hope I'm wrong.”
Another said: “And who would be considered the ‘animal’ in this ‘big game’ hunt? And is there a history of dehumanizing and likening Black people to animals? If that is the mindset of these officers -taking a picture of their ‘trophy’, then it is most certainly about race.”
The officers involved in taking the picture have yet to be identified and it is unknown which agency they’re with.