Don’t do it!

naked man

What Not To Do Wednesday (#WNTDW) – the Facebook fable of the week from the Anchorage Police Department (APD) – today became its own #WNTDW.

Shortly after the day’s  #WNTDW popped up online, it disappeared to be replaced by this:

“This week is a two-fer. The first part is aimed solely at us – DON’T post a draft version of WNTDW. Which we did earlier today. Note to self……. SIGH. Do you ever have a Wednesday that feels like a Monday? Yeah….. we’ll be posting that one again once we have the FINAL draft.”

Or at least that’s the APD story, and the agency is sticking to it.

The rest of the story?

APD’s post appeared to mock someone with mental-health issues – if the story APD told really happened – and a goodly number of Alaskans appeared to take offense. They called APD out about the post in the comments on the Facebook page and a debate ensued.

Some thought the post acceptable as “humor” as when APD referred to an unidentified man with a “fleshy human body” struck by a frontend loader in one of its other humourous posts.

Most, however, didn’t appear to be buying the defense of “it’s OK; it’s humor.” They thought the post showed a shocking lack of understanding of mental illness. The comments would be linked here, but APD disappeared them along with the original post as the debate was just getting going, though APD spokesman MJ Thim said the comments are not an issue.

“The post was not deleted due to comments,” he said via email, his preferred means of communication.


The post comes at a time when social media cleansing by government entities and politicians is much in the news. A federal appears court in July ordered President Donald Trump to stop blocking people and deleting from his Twitter feed comments he thought negative. 

The First Amendment protects such speech, the court siad.

In January, the Richmond, Va.-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Court ruled that the interactive portion of a Facebook page of a public official is a “public forum” and once a can of worms is opened there, the public official or officials can’t try to make it all go away.

“Specifically, the court recognized that when a public official uses a Facebook page as a tool of governance — that is, when she uses it to inform the public about her government work, solicits input on policy issues through the page, and swathes it ‘in the trappings of her office’ — she is controlling the page as a government actor,” Vere Eidelman, an attorney for the America Civil Liberties Union observed in the wake of the ruling.

“And if she opens that page to public comment, the interactive space of the Facebook page constitutes a public forum.”

When it comes to Facebook pages, APD is even more clearly a “government actor” than your local politician. It uses its Facebook page to present both news and propaganda.

#WNTDW is decidedly part of the latter. It tells stories designed to soften the image of the APD and humanize the people in blue as friends and neighbors at a time in America when police are sometimes seen in a less than favorable light.

Two-thirds of Americans still give American policemen a warm rating, according to polling by the Pew Research Center, but “black and Hispanic views of police are more mixed.

“Just three-in-ten black Americans (30 percent) express warm attitudes about police officers, while 28 percent offer a neutral rating. Another 38 percent give a cold rating, including 30 percent who give a very cold rating.”

Good causes

Police departments across the country are aware of their public relations problem, and many are working to improve their image. Enter Anchorage’s #WNTDW with its attempt to make humor of stupid, foolish and bumbling lawbreakers.

The brunt of APD’s joking today was aimed at someone who – if the story is true, and you never know if #WNTDW is actually true – had clear mental health issues.

When you wander the streets naked, welcome the predictable arrival of the police, and then tell them you want to be taken to jail, you are not acting normally or rationally. APD thought this behavior on the part of “Mr. Birthday Suit” funny.

It apparently was even funnier when he was hauled into court and an unnamed magistrate “granted his wish” and allegedly sent him off to the slammer. The moral of the story?

Sending the man to jail “qualifies the magistrate of having wish-granting genie powers, too,” as APD put it after presenting its earlier arrest as the first illustration of “wish-granting abilities.”

APD did not cite the third example of “wish-granting abilities,” ie. the ability to disappear the original post and along with it all comments.

Thim contends the post was taken down because it was “incomplete and still in draft form (WNTDW). An internal mistake. A mistake that fits WNTDW so we owned it.”

It is not censorship, he said, because “all of our social media platforms are public record.

“As you know, you may make a request for a copy of any post, including comments, from our Records Department. You can email your request to”


Thim has in the past, however, indicated that emailing the Records Department about  #WNTDW is likely just a waste of time.

“When we pick the public safety tip for WNTDW, we ask members (officers, detectives, dispatchers..etc.) to share situations they’ve encountered over the years to use as examples of what not to do,” he emailed n December of 2017. “We pick a few to include in the post. We don’t ask for the names/date/time/location/case number because that’s not the intent of the post. Many of the situations happened years ago.”

Short version? There is going to be no way for the Records Department to find the information you want because we don’t ask who was involved or when the incident took place or where.

A records search here might prove more effective, but who is going to do that?

Readers can form their own opinions as to how “incomplete and still in draft” the post by reading it above. As to the claim of owning the mistake, the replacement post offers no hint of what the original post said, claims no ownership on the part of anyone for the mistake, and offers no apology for making fun of someone – if the incident actually happened – with a mental health problem.

Mainly, the ownership involves playing the victim card: “SIGH. Do you ever have a Wednesday that feels like a Monday?”

And then there is a rather strange reference to the original post saying, “we’ll be posting that one again once we have the FINAL draft.”

What exactly would one do to the final draft to make it something less than a mockery of someone with mental health issues? Change “Mr. Birthday Suit” to “Mr. Window Smasher” standing outside a vandalized storefront?

It would certainly be OK to be a genie granting Mr. Window Smashers wish to go to jail for damaging property because he might damage other property if left on the street. But Mr. Birthday Suit?

Mr. Birthday Suit might offend the public dignity, but he’s no real threat to anyone or their property.  In fact, in most months of the year, he’s mainly a threat to himself, given how easy it is to freeze private parts.



















14 replies »

  1. Assuming that this incident actually did happen, in some form or another, why is the police report editorializing and working on first drafts of a supposed incident? Is that what tax dollars are being spent on while there is a city wide crime spree going on? Shouldn’t there be some list of priorities, with whatever this nonsense is never making that list?

  2. The APD WNTDW person should not quit their day job and attempt to be a comedian. They should quit attempts at being a comedian and do the day job that Anchorage taxpayers pay for. If APD wants to interact with the public on social media, then post statistcs weekly of what they have been doing for the public and how much it has cost us.

  3. I think it is fair to say LEO’s are people to. They deal with the same garbage people day in and day out, time after time. They have to deal with local Democrats and Commie groups like the ACLU. They just had 8yrs of the “War on Police” by the Obama Admin, where numerous were outright assasinated. They have to deal with Democrats who idolize thugs like Michael Brown, Skip Gates, and Freddie Gray, while sending good cops like Darren Wilson into hiding. They had to deal with Obama sending 50 FBI agents to investigate the Michael Brown shooting in hopes of convicting Darren Wilson to send the “message”.
    “Hands-up don’t shoot”, all just made-up lies the Dems fed us. Just like their flashy new terms “White Nationalist, White Terrorism, White Supremists”, etc..all because their “Affirmative Action” has lost its luster on the younger generation. All just Democrat lies.
    Are there some bad cops? Sure. Are their bad pilots, bad school bus drivers, bad professors brainwashing your kids, bad judges, etc..?

    • Hi Bryan,
      I would say that the biggest ‘war on police’ during the past 15 years is the advent of modern cell phone technology. I never believed in cops abusing their authority until I actually saw unarmed people getting shot in the back, or while subdued under several LEO’s, or in their car at a random traffic stop while a loved one watched – all by ‘the law’. I’m not saying that these people were innocent of crime, I am saying that cops have had a culture of operating with impunity and that this has caused some of them to go WAY off the rails and abuse their authority. Which makes those cops that do abuse their authority…. worse than the criminals that they are tasked with catching. That’s not a ‘democrat lie’. It’s a LEO issue that is still being addressed.
      And, just for kicks, denying the existence of white nationalism, white terrorism and white supremist (and a cop culture that had gone too far and needed to be addressed) is as bad as denying the existence of the ANTIFA terrorists, Green Peace terrorists, etc. I think that it’s important to reign in the extremist on both ends of the political spectrum because they are making everyone else be associated with them – ‘oh, you’re a republican so you must be a white nationalist racist’ or ‘you’re a Democrat. You must be a green peace communist who thinks that Michael Brown, Skip Gates and Freddie Gray are standup citizens’. The rhetoric is getting ridiculous and needs to be called out…. like I’m doing right now.
      Cheers man!
      PS – thanks to the great majority of LEO’s out there that are working their hardest, under extremely difficult conditions to uphold the law!

      • Jack,
        Although I agree with most of what you said, we must be careful at labeling non-violent protesters as “terrorists” in America.
        This shift in public opinion started in the 1990’s with the new term “eco- terrorist” and is progressing rapidly under the Trump administration.
        In Saudi Arabia nearly 40 activists were killed this year alone by the Authoritarian regime…(we do not want America to follow in this direction).
        “The FBI has a network of 15,000 paid informants at 15,000, a tenfold increase over the number reportedly active during COINTELPRO…
        The targets of surveillance and infiltration have often been peaceful political groups.
        In 2010, the DOJ Inspector General issued a scathing report on the FBI’s inappropriate monitoring of six different political groups including Greenpeace, PETA, and the Thomas Merton Center…”
        As more activists gather around our country to protest police violence we must uphold the rights provided by our Constitution that allow peaceful assembly of citizens to petition our government for redress.

      • Jack, “Stingray” is a bit disconcerning. I’ll concede that.
        Have you heard of Democrat sponsored “Black Lives Matter”? Simple solution, stay home, stop dealing, stop stealing, stop raping, stop murdering, stop assaulting, stop resisting and you will not be shot by the police.
        Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin, and Micjael Brown are alk heros of the Left. They dedicated statues, parks, etc.. after those hoodlums. In 50yrs, not once did I feel a coos boot in my back, get shot by the police, asked to step out of the car or run from the police. Hmm.
        As for those “white terrorist” groups you quote, they commited .01% of the crime last year. Go figure. Hint, 54 were shot and 7 killed in Chicago last weekend alone. Blacks commit over 60% of all the violent crime in thjs country while making up only 13% of the pop.
        Forgive me if my “white guilt” doesnt overwhelm me.

        Steve, peaceful assembly is one thing, smashing amd destruction is another.

      • Hi Steve,
        I would just be careful when ‘activism’ becomes violent, it is no longer ‘peaceful protest’. At that point, it’s criminal in my book. And yes, I do understand the concept of breaking an unjust law being protest, however, as soon as people start harming or threatening others, it’s wrong.
        Hi Bryan,
        Dang man, that’s some serious statistics you got there… Don’t you love Samuel L Clements? Once again, my point is that both sides are acting KRRAZZZIIIEEE. Simply stating that ‘blacks commit 60% of violent crime’ isn’t necessarily true. Perhaps, just maybe, the LEO’s are more focused on busting African Americans than whities? I remember when I was a kid, I got caught with some booze and weed (I was 18). What happened to me? The cop told my parents. What would have happened to an African American kid in any inner city? I’m going to guess that they’d have an instant criminal record and starting life off in the system. Good luck with having a normal life then. You can say that those are the choices we all make, but have you looked back at your life and acknowledged the times that you broke the law, didn’t get caught and went on to live your life? Or, did you not ever break the law?… Really… There are too many laws right now to not break any on a regular basis. I would speculate that African Americans and other minorities are held to a higher standard than suburban ‘white’ America is… Just my thoughts, of course.
        Cheers guys!

      • Jack, I appreciate your response. Good one and well put..Let me just add a touch of reality though – most inner city dwellers have had priors way before 18yo. Their futures look bleak due to their parents failings and their own lack of restraint. The difference between you at 18yo with grass and booze and some inner city dweller is you werent riding around in a stolen car, with a stolen gun, and I assume you didnt try to outrun the cops in said stolen car or on foot?
        I have spent quite a bit of time in some of our larger cities and the entertainment never gets old even though it is generally predictable.
        I also disagree when you say both sides do it, Democrats are insane – PERIOD!
        Jack, a good read my friend. Might be enlightening.

      • Jack,
        It is important to distinguish between “civil disobedience” and non – violent protest.
        Civil disobedience is when groups intentionally break laws and cause damage.
        What I am speaking of is groups like Greenpeace and PETA who are infiltrated by FBI informants and then treated as “domestic terrorists” when they have not broken any laws.
        The FBI has a long history back to the 60’s with COINTELPRO programs in America.
        What we are seeing today is that many groups are monitored under gov. surveillance and with informants.
        “The FBI’s monitoring included in-person surveillance…
        Although numerous neo-Nazis were suspected of stabbing at least seven anti-fascists in the melee, leaving some with life-threatening injuries, the FBI chose to launch a inquiry into the activities of the leftwing protesters.”
        Seems weird that the guys with the knives who stabbed the protesters are not the “terrorists”?
        Makes you wonder who is supporting the violence against protesters these days?

      • Steve, are you saying fascists like ANTIFA are not terrorists or do you consider them “peaceful protestors”? Just curious.

      • Bryan,
        When I think of what a “terrorist” is, I think of someone who is on a “jihad” to kill innocent people…
        Yes I know others are “terrorists” as well like former veteran Timothy McVeigh and the Las Vegas shooter…etc.
        I listed the Bamn story to show an example that those on the “right” who stabbed the victims were never brought to justice, nor are they considered terrorists?
        How can one side be labeled as terrorist when the other side is not?
        They are all protesters in my book…some are peaceful and others are violent…ALL the protesters who commit violence should be arrested…those who are peaceful should have NO problem in a free democracy.
        “In June 2016, BAMN led a counter-protest against a rally held by the Traditionalist Worker Party, a white nationalist group, outside of the California State Capitol in Sacramento. Violence at the protests resulted in nine people being hospitalized, seven with stab wounds.
        Yvette Felarca, a BAMN spokeswoman, said their protest successfully “chased away the neo-Nazis and kept them from recruiting new members.”
        “In July 2017, a year after the riot, authorities arrested Felarca and charged her with “inciting and participating in a riot and assault likely to cause great bodily injury.”
        Felarca and her lawyer, BAMN’s national chair Shanta Driver, say the white nationalists were the aggressors and BAMN members had the right to defend themselves.
        Felarca told the Guardian that she was stabbed in the arm and struck in the head which resulted in her getting stitches.”

  4. I think the imperative item mentioned in this article is how to help people struggling with mental health and create more easily accessible safety nets . Also what needs changed so Americans reduce the ocurances of mental health issues. Also it’s obviously imperative Leo’s address protocol / training for first contact. Conflict minimization. Tom Akelkok is a very impressive trooper who has incredible skills at defusing situations and building trust . He often spear heads out reach programs in villages. His knowledge needs applied country wide .

  5. I don’t know Craig…
    I just heard a story on APRN about an officer from APD that got his girlfriend’s younger sister (age 14) drunk then had sex with her…
    I would say that is the best “Don’t do it” story that I have heard in a while.
    BTW, What ever happened to the trooper who was “sexting” with the 16 Y/O?
    Never saw a follow up story after his arrest.

    • These are definitely some great examples of What Not To Do Ever. Can you imagine trying to be a LEO and having jackasses like these guys representing you and the system that you work for? Guilty by association. Hopefully, there are ongoing changes to the vetting process while hiring and training our LEOs…

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