Muncie billboard sparks controversy online

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MUNCIE, Ind. – As tensions come to a head between law enforcement and the communities they serve, a Muncie billboard is adding fuel to the fire and causing online controversy.

The billboard that read “Hate cops? The next time you need help call a crackhead” was posted on an electronic billboard near the Wheeling and Riverside intersection for at least a few hours Saturday, before it was taken down.

Megan Thomas told the Muncie Star Press that she noticed it around 1 p.m. when walking with her niece along the Riverwalk. She said she was not just offended by what she called a message that was “vulgar, discriminatory to many different classes of people in our city,” but also by the fact that it appeared to have gone up right before the start of a planned demonstration against police brutality, starting just a few blocks away.

Thomas shared a photo of the billboard on Facebook, along with a question about whether tax dollars had been used to pay for the sign. The post has since been shared more than 1,000 times and prompted several comments from both sides of the issue.

The controversial message has been taken down from the billboard and in its place are ads for car dealerships, a local restaurant, the city bus system and Hometown Outdoor Advertising, the company that owns the electronic billboard. Monday, the message “Love, Support, Support Law Enforcement” was also added to the rotation.

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Photo courtesy of Muncie Star Press

The people behind the controversial sign have not yet been identified.

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