New Zealand Police has apologised after sending a “wrong and insensitive” tweet about road fatalities.
The tweet, from national force’s official account, featured a GIF of comedian and US Office star Steve Carell and read: “When we have to tell someone their family member has died in a crash.”
A caption on the GIF added: “This is the worst!”
The tweet, which has since been deleted, resulted in hundreds of angry messages.
We apologise for the recent road safety tweet. We quickly realised it was wrong & insensitive & it was immediately deleted. Thx for feedback
— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) October 9, 2017
Scott Warren wrote: “Staggering that anyone even considered tweeting that, let alone searched for the meme, drafted the tweet & then shared with the world!”
Another, Nik Dirga, wrote: “OK, it’s only Monday, but this tweet by NZ Police already takes the booby prize for social media fail of the week. Tone-deaf.”
The tweet was sent out after a series of fatal road crashes.
In a statement, New Zealand Police said nine people had been killed on the country’s roads over the weekend. Some 292 people have died in 2017 so far – 41 more than during the same period last year.
The force initially tried to justify the tweet, writing: “Telling someone their loved (one) is not coming home is one of the hardest things cops ever have to do.”
It later deleted the original message and issued an apology.
“We apologise for the recent road safety tweet. We quickly realised it was wrong & insensitive & it was immediately deleted. Thx for feedback,” it wrote.