Saint Paul, Minn., Police Chief Tom Smith today issued a statement to appease critics offended by a photo of an off-duty police officer wearing a hijab costume. The photo, posted to Instagram several weeks ago but recently discovered, offended some Muslims who launched a #CultureNotCostume hashtag in protest.
I respect Officer Buth’s efforts to apologize to those who may have been offended by the recently publicized photo of him. I believe his apology is sincere and that he will work to correct any negative perceptions brought about by the image.
In his 13-year career with the Saint Paul Police Department, Officer Buth has been recognized by our communities for his service. We expect that he will once again draw upon those experiences as he works to rebuild their trust.
Officer Buth’s apology also signifies an understanding that as a Saint Paul police officer, we are responsible for our actions both while on-duty and off-duty.