The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating how a recruitment ad for their agency showed up on conservative news site Breitbart, the department said Saturday.
The ad, which drew attention Friday after Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Noah Shachtman tweeted it, showed a female police officer behind the words: “choose your future” and “LAPD is hiring!”
The LAPD was quick to respond to criticism on Twitter and tweeted on Saturday that they “take matters like this very seriously” and have “begun an initial inquiry.” The department stated that the appearance of their ad on Breitbart, which has been criticized for its inflammatory content, “creates a negative juxtaposition to our core values.”
Police Chief Michael Moore also tweeted on Saturday that the LAPD did “NOT purchase” or “acquire ad space” on Breitbart, adding that senior leadership at the Los Angeles City Personnel Department also confirmed they did not authorize the ad’s purchase.
The departments were investigating whether it was an “effort to discredit” the LAPD, Moore said.
The city’s personnel department reiterated Moore’s statement that city officials did not intend to acquire ad space on Breitbart. The agency explained in a tweet that “recruitment ads were purchased through Google and ended up” on Breitbart because of “automatic placement.” It said all Google ads would be stopped until the agency “take all necessary steps to ensure tighter control of ad settings.”
It’s also not the first time that advertisers have inadvertently found their content on the right-wing website.
A spokesman with the LAPD told TIME that they have no further comment, in addition to the tweets that have already been published.
Shachtman posted a screenshot of the ad on Twitter Friday night and expressed his shock.
A Breitbart spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times in a statement that the company is “one of the most pro-police, pro-law-enforcement news organizations in America.”
Breitbart published controversial articles with headlines like, “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy”, “Gay rights have made us dumber, it’s time to get back in the closet” and “Data: Young Muslims Are a Ticking Time Bomb in the West.” Steve Bannon, who served as chief strategist in President Trump’s administration, used to be chairman of the publication.
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