MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A St. Paul police officer issued an apology Tuesday after a photo of him in traditional Islamic women’s clothing made its way through social media this weekend.
Officer Robert Buth said the photo showed him at a private Halloween party in his free time. He offered an apology to those whom he offended and said he regrets the image.
Chief Tom Smith said Buth’s apology “signifies an understanding that…[police officers] are responsible for our actions both while on-duty and off-duty.”
St. Paul Police began an investigation into the image after receiving a tweet Sunday that asked if the man in photo was a police officer.
The Tweet came from Mukhtar Ibrahim, who identifies himself as a journalist and editor in the Washington, D.C. area.
St. Paul Police responded to the tweet, saying they took situation seriously.
Police spokesman Howie Padilla says Buth is still assigned to the K-9 unit.
Below is Buth’s statement in full:
“I apologize to anyone who may have been offended by the recently publicized photo which showed me at a private Halloween party on my personal time.
I sincerely regret that the image, which was never intended to become public, may have been viewed to be insensitive to the Muslim community.
I am proud to be a Saint Paul police officer. I have enjoyed working with all of our diverse communities and look forward to working to repairing any damage which may have been caused.”