Police nix controversial T-shirts

Nov. 2, 2011 at 3:30 AM
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TWIN RIVERS, Calif., Nov. 2 (UPI) -- A California police officers association said it has stopped selling controversial T-shirts bearing an image of a young child behind bars.

Twin Rivers police union President Arlin Kocher said the shirts, which bear the Twin Rivers Police Officers Association logo on the front and the picture of the child on the back with the message "U raise 'em, we cage 'em," were designed in 2009 as a fundraiser for families of fallen officers, the Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday.

"I don't think this will be received well by the public, which is why we stopped selling them," Kocher said. "Our chief came to us (about a year ago) when he found out that we were selling them. He asked us to take it off the union Web site. Our union, especially me, take full responsibility."

The shirts have drawn sharp criticism from community leaders and child advocates.

"There is nowhere on the planet where it is OK to wear a shirt like this," said Ed Howard, senior counsel for the University of San Diego's Children's Advocacy Institute.

Twin Rivers Unified Superintendent Frank Porter, who oversees the police department, said he has not decided whether any disciplinary action will be taken.

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