- Oakland County Sheriff’s Office part-time deputy Sherry Prose was fired last month over a photo she posted on Facebook.
- The photo depicted four Jack-O’-Lanterns, three made out of pumpkins and a fourth made out of a watermelon.
- In her caption she suggested Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was being depicted in the watermelon, a fruit often used a racist trope toward Black people.
- The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement to Insider that Prose was fired the same day the agency learned of the photo.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A Sheriff’s deputy in Michigan has been fired after she posted a racist photo of a Jack-O’-Lantern made out of a watermelon that she said depicted Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Facebook.
The photo posted by Oakland County Sheriff’s Office part-time deputy Sherry Prose also included three pumpkin Jack-O’-Lanterns she said depicted President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and President-elect Joe Biden.
“Trump, Biden, Pence and Kamala. Happy Halloween,” her post said, suggesting Harris’ Jack-O’-Lantern was a watermelon, a fruit often used a racist trope toward Black people.
Prose first posted the picture on October 23, but news of her firing was just revealed this week.
It shows a carving of VP-elect @KamalaHarris from a watermelon and others from a pumpkin.
— Rudy Harper (@RudyHarperWXYZ) November 16, 2020
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, which is located in Metro-Detroit, said in a statement to Insider that the agency first learned of Prose’s post on October 27, after the post had already been deleted.
Chief Deputy Sheriff Michael McCabe said the agency immediately launched an internal investigation and fired Prose that day.
“We are outraged by this former employee’s actions and condemn the behaviour she chose to engage in,” McCabe said. “These type of incidents are disgusting and will never be tolerated or pushed aside at the Sheriff’s Office. Behaviour such as this brings tarnish to the badge and is not representative all those in law enforcement who protect and serve.”
In a statement to WXYZ News, Prose said she is not a racist, but she did not explain why she made the Harris Jack-O’-Lantern out of a watermelon.
McCabe said the sheriff’s office regularly holds trainings on bias, diversity, and ethics, and issues regarding any such topic are “addressed immediately with discipline and/or termination.”
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