On Monday, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported that two Knoxville, Tennessee police officers were caught posing for a Halloween photo with two children, one of whom was dressed in blackface — and that while one of them is resigning, the other will remain on the force.
“The photo shows police officers Leah Miller and Todd MacFaun and his two children,” said the report. “All four are dressed in ‘Forrest Gump’ outfits,” said the report. “One child’s face is painted black. The child is dressed up in Army fatigues and a ‘Bubba’ name tag on the arm. The photo was posted on both officers’ Facebook pages.”
“Miller resigned Dec. 15, before the investigation concluded, according to KPD spokesman Scott Erland,” said the report. “MacFaun was given a written reprimand and will receive additional cultural bias training, Erland said. He has resumed his role as part of the organized crime unit.”
“I was disappointed in the severe lapse in judgement shown by Officers MacFaun and Miller that resulted in the public depiction of blackface, which should deeply offend us all,” Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas said in a statement. “Though their actions were done only in the spirit of Halloween, those actions were hurtful and insensitive. I will not tolerate, accept or condone offensive or racially insensitive behavior of any kind.
The news comes just after the Hamilton, Georgia police chief and one officer were removed from their jobs after body camera footage from a Black Lives Matter protest last summer showed them using racial slurs, praising slavery, and debating whether they would have sex with voting rights activist Stacey Abrams or Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.