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NC police department apologizes for “unacceptable” Valentine’s Day meme posts

A screenshot of the controversial Valentine’s Day meme the Asheville Police Department posted to its social media pages, and later deleted.
A screenshot of the controversial Valentine’s Day meme the Asheville Police Department posted to its social media pages, and later deleted. TWITTER

A North Carolina police department’s Valentine’s Day rendition of a popular meme stepped too far, the department said in a public apology.

The Asheville Police Department tweeted Thursday to say posts made on its social media pages on Wednesday “inappropriately called attention to the issues of sexual assault and domestic violence.”

The posts, which the department deleted, used the “overly attached girlfriend” meme that originated from a video submitted several years ago for a Justin Bieber fan contest.

The meme text read, “Restraining order? You can’t restrain love!”

A tweet featured the words “Happy #ValentinesDay” over the meme. The person responsible for the tweet no longer has access to the department’s social media pages, according to television station WLOS.

A Facebook post came with a longer message, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.

“On behalf of the Asheville Police Department and its legal council, we wish you a pleasant #ValentinesDay in a manner that shall in no way be misconstrued as anything but informed and consensual,” the post said.

In its apology, the department said, “We believe in holding perpetrators accountable and empowering survivors.”

“We recognize that this humor is unacceptable as it can validate an abuser and make the healing process for a survivor more difficult,” the department wrote. “For those who saw our post yesterday, we sincerely apologize for any offense.”

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