University of Nevada, Reno Police Officer Antonio Gutierrez came under fire recently for wearing a Colin Kaepernick Halloween costume, complete with an afro wig and a fake nose.
The officer also held a “Will stand for food” sign.
Was there backlash?
The image was shared on social media, and eventually made its way to the attention of UNR Police Chief Adam Garcia, who was less than impressed by the officer’s choice in costume.
Garcia issued a statement Sunday decrying the officer’s actions.
Garcia said, “For those who have seen the Halloween costume of one of our officers apparently mocking a citizen who has chosen to take advantage of his constitutional right to protest, I offer my sincere apologies.”
He added, “Members of our profession are held to a higher standard and denigrating another — on or off duty — is insensitive for its lack of respect and lack of understanding on how others may negatively view their actions and may be impacted.
“I have heard from many members of our community over the past few weeks that they feel unsafe on campus because of our current social and political climate,” Garcia continued. “Behavior such as this magnifies unsafe feelings and lack of trust in police, especially when that individual is responsible for the safety of all members of the University, regardless of color, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion.”
Garcia concluded, “At a time when officers should be heightened in their attentiveness to perception by our community, this act seems extremely out of touch with those sentiments and reflects poorly on all of us. To regain the trust of our students, and in particular those of color, will be a challenge and will be a priority through continued education, training and conversation.”
— ✨(202) 224 – 3121✨ (@glaserface) October 29, 2017
Will the officer be disciplined?
UNR spokeswoman Kerri Garcia told the Reno Gazette Journal that Gutierrez will not face disciplinary action for the costume.
“As insensitive and inappropriate as this is, we have no policy that would dictate any disciplinary action,” Garcia said.