As advertisers tried to grab attention during Super Bowl Sunday, Kentucky State Police posted a tweet referencing rape in prison in attempts to discourage people from drinking and driving.
Throughout the night, the official state police account tweeted with references to the game to discourage people from drinking and driving. After Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski made a catch during the game, the official Kentucky State Police account tweeted a GIF of a bar of soap on a rope.
Kentucky State Police later deleted the tweet and apologized. It was up for a little under two hours.
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“The Kentucky State Police apologizes for the inappropriate tweet that appeared on our Twitter feed earlier tonight,” said Michael Webb, the public affairs commander. “Making light of sexual assault is never acceptable, and we apologize for the distress this tweet caused, particularly to the victims of these heinous crimes. KSP is committed to protecting against sexual assault and fighting for justice for victims. This tweet – made by an individual employee – does not represent KSP or our mission.”
In 2011-12, the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that 4 percent of state and federal inmates and 3.2 percent of jail inmates experienced one or more instances of sexual victimization by another inmate or facility staff in the past 12 months.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drink and Drive” campaign to help discourage people from drinking and driving after attending Super Bowl parties.
Response to the Kentucky State Police tweet was mostly positive on Facebook, with one user calling it the “tweet of the year.”