WINSTON, OR – MSNBC host Joy Reid celebrated Thanksgiving last week by taking to social media to whine about how “traumatizing” it is to see police officers giving out turkeys for the holiday.
Reid shared a link to a Fox News article about the Turkeys Not Tickets program, which sees officers handing out turkeys instead of citations for mild traffic violations. Mesa Police Department (MPD) Officer Jason Flam is one officer who took part in this Thanksgiving program, saying that drivers were happily surprised by the kind gesture.
“One lady with an infectious laugh…started laughing, but the tears were coming down. Another gentleman put his head down and the tears just… don’t think they can afford the turkey, so it worked out really good,” Flam told KSAZ. “I don’t think we understood how important this was going to be.”
Officers said Chief Brandon Sarti from the Winston Police Department "asked us to hand out turkeys instead of warnings and HE PAID FOR THEM. Officer Gomez had a fun day surprising those who were stopped, with a turkey." https://t.co/YOr9KnBPhs https://t.co/2r7yqwX6si
— KVAL News (@KVALnews) November 24, 2021
Chief of Police Brandon Sarti from Winston, Oregon told KCBY News that “this is a way to give back to a community that supports law enforcement.”
“I wanted to reward good behavior, but I also wanted to make sure that when we’re stopping vehicles, we’re doing the legal stop,” he added. “So, when we find a violation that’s a minor violation but if all their paperwork and everything is in order, then we shed out the turkey for them.”
Reid, however, had a very different take on the program.
“Please stop doing this, officers, especially to Black people,” she tweeted alongside the article. “It’s traumatizing, given the history of what happens to us in traffic stops. And if someone is driving a car (in one of these cases to COSTCO, which requires a membership fee) they can buy a turkey. End of TED Talk.”
Please stop doing this, officers, especially to Black people. It’s traumatizing, given the history of what happens to us in traffic stops. And if someone is driving a car (in one of these cases to COSTCO, which requires a membership fee) they can buy a turkey. End of TED Talk. https://t.co/juTwxmXPNw
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) November 26, 2021
Reid later commented on her tweet by saying that “terrifying people with a fake and possibly unlawful traffic stop is not smart public relations.”
Thankfully, some Twitter users stepped up to defend police in the comments section of Reid’s tweet, with one saying law enforcement is “damned if they do, damned if they don’t.”
“[Law Enforcement] is here trying to make an honest community service, doing a kind gesture to try and change public perception and they still get ridiculed by you and your followers,” another user commented, with a third sarcastically writing, “How dare they give out free food so someone can have a good thanksgiving. It’s just despicable!”
Despite what Reid had to say, drivers who were given the turkeys didn’t seem “traumatized” at all.
“In fact I was just on my way to Costco to pick up some Thanksgiving fixins, so this saved me a few bucks,” one driver said. “I think it’s a great idea. I was telling the officer there that I think in the past few years police officers in general have gotten a pretty bad rap, and they have a tough job, and I think it’s important they get recognized for putting it out there every day.”
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