The Downstate daily Southern Illinoisan's editorial board created a controversy over the weekend when they published on the paper's editorial page a cartoon that mocked police and sided with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The cartoon has a black man shot in the back, lying face down on the pavement with police pointing guns at the body, saying "His hands weren't up high enough." In the background is a police car with "Black Lives Don't Matter" posted on its side.
The cartoon upset Downstate law enforcement officials.
Metropolis Police Chief Harry Masse told a Kentucky newspaper Sunday that "Words cannot describe the disgust I have for the Southern Illinoisan Newspaper for posting this 'cartoon.' Can you image the outrage if I posted a cartoon about the looting, protests or carnage being brought on some of our cities? Never again will I spend a dime on their paper. I will use old one to perform cleaning chores! Unbelievable."
Southern Illinoisan readers were outraged and made known their thoughts on the paper's Facebook page:
Feeling the heat, the Southern Illinoisan issued an apology Monday morning:
The Southern Illinoisan regrets choice of editorial cartoon
The Southern Illinoisan regrets the editorial cartoon selected to run in Sunday’s paper. The syndicated cartoon was offensive to law enforcement and those of us who support law enforcement. Though we respect diverse opinions, we do not believe this was in good taste, nor constructive for dialog at the national or local level. We value the service of law enforcement officers serving southern Illinois, who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. Though editorial cartoons are rooted in satire to provoke thought, the selection of this cartoon was not vetted through our usual editorial process. We have implemented measures to prevent this in the future.
We apologize to those we offended, the communities that we serve and our local law enforcement.
Craig H. Rogers, Publisher