Blackface controversy over 25 year old photo of Baton Rouge police officers

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Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
February 12, 2019 - 6:57 am

USA TODAY

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There is a blackface controversy in Baton Rouge.  It surrounds a decades old picture that was posted to social media.

The police chief and mayor of Baton Rouge have issued public apologies after a photo surfaced from more than 25 years ago showing two 
white police officers dressed as black men as part of a narcotics sting.  

In a statement, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome said that blackface "invokes a painful history in this country and it is not appropriate in any situation."

She's been mayor for two years and often talks about unity.

She has said that "bringing people together" is her guiding principal to "heal and progress past the hurt that we have seen."

The picture of Lt. Don Stone and retired Capt. Frankie Caruso shows the men in 1993 with dark makeup on their faces and hands.  It is captioned "Soul brothers."

Police Chief Murphy Paul said, "Blackface photographs are inappropriate and offensive."

"They were inappropriate then and are inappropriate today," he added. "The Baton Rouge Police Department would like to apologize to our citizens and to anyone who may have been offended by the photographs."

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