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Minneapolis Police sorry for Facebook post of 'offensive' vintage shirt

Minneapolis Police Commander Kim Lund Voss thought she was highlighting a bad typo. That part wasn't what got people upset.

Minneapolis Police Commander Kim Lund Voss thought she was highlighting a bad typo. That part wasn't what got people upset. Facebook

A few days ago, Kim Lund Voss, a commander with the Minneapolis Police Department, posted the above picture to Facebook, thinking it might get a few laughs. 

"Attempting to organize the storage room," Lund Voss wrote, "and came across this gem!"

Voss was referring to an old shirt she'd found, one which came with a glaring typo: "Minneapolis Homocide Division." 

(Paging Dr. Freud... but we digress.)

"It pays to proof read before you hit 'print,'" Lund Voss wrote.

A police veteran who joined the department in 1987 and now runs its juvenile division, Lund Voss quickly learned some people care less about poor spelling than poor taste. Below that typo was an image of a dead body's chalk outline, bisected by police tape, with the tagline "Our day starts when yours ends."

As the Star Tribune reports, this gallows humor did not go over well with the general public. Leslie Redmond, president of the Minneapolis NAACP, wrote that she was "very disturbed" by the post, and called the image "extremely insensitive, especially given the involved demographics." (Lund Voss is white.)

Redmond questioned Lund Voss's reason for sharing the image in the first place, writing: "I do not think this was about the misspelling of the word homicide."

Within hours of Redmond's post on Monday, Lund Voss had deleted hers, writing:

"I have pulled down the post, I am sorry if it offended anyone, my intention was not to offend anyone with the content of the message on the shirt but to show that misprints commonly occurred back in the days prior to spellcheck."

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo issued a statement of his own, clarifying the shirt "was created several years ago" -- Lund Voss's post said it was "25ish years old" -- and not representative of the modern department.

 "That statement and image then does not reflect the values and transformational culture that we are as a department today," Aarradono said. "That item does not exist in any part of our current MPD. As Chief I want to apologize to those we serve for any hurt or distrust this image has caused."

If only Facebook could add some sort of pre-publishing feature that underlines your entire post in red if it's about to blow up in your face.