A horrifying image of a cop having his throat slit by a figure in black has gone viral on Facebook and Instagram in the wake of last week’s murders of five Dallas police officers, despite complaints from law enforcement groups and other social media users.
The image went up on Wednesday, more than 24 hours before the sniper attack in Dallas that also left seven other officers injured, renewing calls on social media platforms to better monitor content posted.
“This kind of post is disgusting and dehumanizing to law enforcement and it is encouraging violence,” said Jonathan Thompson, executive director and CEO of the National Sheriffs’ Association, which represents more than 3,000 sheriffs across the country. “Whether it is depicting a journalist, teacher or cop being beheaded, this has no place in our society.”
“We find these images appalling because they promote nothing more than hate, violence, and terrorism,” said Sara Slone, spokesperson for the advocacy group, Concerns of Police Survivors – C.O.P.S., which promotes hope and healing for the loved ones of police officers killed in the line of duty. “C.O.P.S. remains focused on the surviving families of the officers that have been murdered in recent days, along with the other 37,000 survivors across the nation.”
Experts do not yet know who is behind the horrifying image, but say it could draw a link between terrorists and domestic protesters because it appears to photoshopped from video of an ISIS execution.
“The cartoon image is a clear rendering of the Islamic State’s execution by Jihad John of journalist James Foley in 2014 – even down to the gun strap Jihadi John wore, which is recreated in the image of the US flag,” said Veryan Khan, editorial director of the U.S.-based Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium. “Ironically, the Islamic State has picked up on the propaganda material and is now using the same image on its social media pages, including on the media site Telegram.”
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