MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Protesters gathered outside the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, December 10, following the sheriff’s office’s post showing a Christmas tree decorated with mugshots they called ‘thugshots’ instead of ornaments.
The sheriff’s office took the post down, but protesters said that is not enough. Faith in Action Alabama is the group behind the protest.
Faith in Action AL Mobile Hub Chairman Reverend Marvin Lue Jr. said, “To put pictures on a Christmas tree and entitle it ‘thug Thursday’ during this season makes a hypocrisy of what we’re celebrating.”
Group members said they have four demands for the sheriff’s office. They want an acknowledgement that the post was wrong, an apology for the post, an acknowledgement of why the post was so divisive, and finally a training program for cultural sensitivity.
One of the speakers at the protest said seeing the post brought back bad memories. St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Buford Hall said, “When I was younger, how I was riding in my own automobile and someone drove by me and pointed a gun at me to signify that at any time they could take my life.”
He shared another story. He said, “As a student at South Alabama. As a part of the track team, and as we drove through a town in Mississippi. Blacks and whites on that track team and as we drove through that town, we had to duck down because in the middle of that town square they were burning a cross and the coach was scared for us that we could get snatched off that van.”
WKRG News 5 reached out to the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office after the protest. We did not hear back, but just a couple of hours after the protest, the sheriff’s office posted another ‘thug Thursday’ picture on Facebook.