Four cops have come under fire after posing for a photo with a smiling, shirtless and handcuffed bank robbery suspect following a massive manhunt in Mississippi.
The photo emerged a day after Eric Boykin was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly holding up a Hancock Bank in the small town of Prentiss and fleeing the scene.
Multiple federal and state law enforcement agencies including the FBI and ATF joined the search before Boykin was found in a wooded area about 600 yards from the bank, according to WLBT.
The outlet published the photo of Boykin – who’s smiling – flanked by four armed officers and three police dogs. Two of the officers flashed grins, including one of the officers who has his hand on Boykin’s shoulder.
The image immediately sparked backlash on social media as critics slammed the officers for turning the serious ordeal into a photo-op that resembled hunters posing with an animal trophy.
It remains unclear which agency the officers belonged to. Prentiss Police Investigator Richard Browning confirmed to DailyMail.com that the officers were not part of his department and speculated that they may have come in from Louisiana to join the search.
‘I didn’t even know about the photo until reporters started calling me,’ Browning told DailyMail.com. ‘It’s unfortunate. I agree that it’s in poor taste.’
The only Louisiana law enforcement agency to known to have been involved in the search was a Louisiana State Prison System K9 team, according to WLBT. DailyMail.com left a message looking for comment.
Critics sounding off on Twitter slammed the officers for dehumanizing Boykin by proudly posing next to him after he was captured.
Josie Duffy Rice, a criminal justice system reporter and president of the ‘Appeal’ tweeted, ‘So either 1) none of the people involved, from the officers to the news station to the staffer who posted this, realized what a bad look this is or 2) they do know how it looks, and that’s why they posted it. Those are the only two possibilities! and they are both very very bad.’
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Christopher Eberhart