A North Carolina sheriff has publicly apologized for a "tasteless" meme that appears to mock people who overdose on opioids and wish them dead.
As Western North Carolina's WLOS reports, Henderson County Sheriff Charles McDonald apologized for a meme featuring someone squirting a life-saving opioid antidote that reads "Narcan: Robbing Darwin of his bountiful harvest since 1971." Below the image is the seal of the Henderson County Sheriff's Office.
This meme was shared among Henderson County, NC sheriff's deputies in a May group email about crime analysis. https://t.co/jcgEIzhwzN— BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER (@BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER)1513020147.0
McDonald didn't identify the sender of the image, but acknowledged that it had been sent in an interdepartmental email on May 23 focusing on crime analysis information. The sheriff also said the meme was "tasteless," and represented a lapse in judgement on his watch.
"There is no excuse for it regardless of the intention," McDonald told WLOS. "I'm told it was an attempt at dark humor, but it was in no way humorous, and I know it does not reflect the true heart of the actual sender, or that of our staff and volunteers."
Regarding punishment of the person who shared the offending image, the sheriff said "the issue has been dealt with appropriately according to our policy and guidelines."
The meme was initially sent to WLOS on November 13 from an anonymous whistleblower who claimed Sheriff McDonald "thinks this opioid crisis is funny" and that "these deaths are funny and by this picture thinks lives should not be saved."