Newspapers around the nation are facing fierce outrage after publishing an editorial cartoon that compared police officers to school shooters.
The cartoon depicts a pair of students, one black and one white, hiding underneath classroom desks next to a chalkboard that read “Active Shooter drill.” In the cartoon, the Black student says, “This feels like preparing for a cop to show up.”
Mike Luckovich, the editorial cartoonist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, sketched the cartoon and a syndicated version appeared in newspapers around the nation.
Readers unleashed on his social media platforms.
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“Actually, this cartoon should be offensive to everyone. Not only our law enforcement officers that risk their lives daily to keep others safe, but to blacks as well. What kind of family are you implying this black child is from? You should be ashamed contributing to the divisiveness of our country,” wrote on angry reader.
“AJC can kiss my ass! I’ve lived in Atlanta for 50 years. Misleading, socialist pandering RAG,” wrote another.
The Lewiston Tribune reports that its office was inundated with angry calls, emails and more than four dozen subscription cancellations.
“We regret Wednesday’s Opinion page cartoon. We made a judgment error and failed to anticipate the impact the cartoon would have locally, and the negative reaction it would elicit,” publisher Nathan Alford wrote in an apology to readers and to law enforcement.
The Laconia Daily Sun in New Hampshire said they received “an earful” from readers who were offended by the cartoon.
“We’ve received complaints about cartoons before, though not to this extent, and the public’s response to this one has rekindled a conversation that has been going at The Daily Sun for more than a year: the value of running such cartoons at all,” they wrote.