ST. LOUIS (AP) – St. Louis County police are apologizing for the wording of a flier announcing a seminar to help officers interact with the media.
The flier on county letterhead says topics of the Oct. 24 program at the police academy will include “Feeding the Animals” and “Meet the 900-pound Gorilla.” Community activists and other critics of the flier say the references have racial overtones.
St. Louis County police spokesman Brian Schellman and seminar leader Rick Rosenthal say the references are not meant to be racial.
Rosenthal, a police media consultant, says the “gorilla” and “animals” references are aimed at the media. His 1999 book, “Feedin the Animals,” deals with how police departments give information to reporters.
The seminar follows the fatal Aug. 9 police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson.