Texas police chief’s warning to speeders draws controversy

U.S. & World
THRALL PD_1535164328939.JPG-846655081.jpg

THRALL, TX (KXAN) — A video a Texas police department posted on its Facebook page is causing some concern.

A KXAN viewer wrote in explaining the post by the Thrall Police Department used a video of a re-enactment of a hanging to get a point across about speeding.

One sentence from the post reads: Now, come Monday morning, things will be getting a little more serious so instead chancing it and getting a ticket or possibly hung, slow down.” 

“After seeing exactly what it is, I think it’s very offensive,” said a man who lives nearby Thrall after watching the video online. 

Thrall Police Chief Whitney Whitworth says the purpose of the video was to be “humorous” and draw attention to speeding in school zones.

“That particular scene came from a security gig I was doing when they filmed True Grit in Granger, Texas, so I just kind of threw that in there to make a point and remind people to slow down,” explained Whitworth.

However, not everyone agrees. 

“It’s not humorous, isn’t funny and I don’t think people have the empathy of the people who were affected by these types of treatments years ago.”

“I use humor on my Facebook page to make points,” said Whitworth. “I think like many of my posts, [the community] sees the humor in it like, ‘Ah, of course, you can’t be hung for speeding’ and they slow down.”

But, for the man KXAN spoke with, who did not want to be identified, it crossed the line.

“People need to realize what is not offensive to you because it didn’t really affect you is offensive to others it did affect,” he said. “You have to be more empathetic before you do something as brazen and as silly as posting that type of video.”

Whitworth says he does not find the video offensive, but it was never his intention to hurt anyone. 

“My point and my purpose was not to offend a soul, it was simply to draw attention to slow people down in my school zone,” said Whitworth.

The post along with the video was removed Friday evening after KXAN contacted Mayor Troy Marx for our story. Whitworth also issued an apology online. He adds he would be more than happy to speak with anyone who was upset by the post.

People on Facebook say they support the chief and that they understood his humor.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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