PR Fail, Or a Really Good Photoshop Job? [Updated]

The State Police accused someone of photoshopping an offensive sticker onto the back of a cruiser.

Image via Chris Kantos/Mass. State Police

Image via Chris Kantos/Mass. State Police


After an “investigation,” police admitted that an image of the offensive sticker wasn’t photoshopped, and that a trooper actually removed it from his vehicle.


When Chris Kantos was walking through Boston on Sunday morning, in an alley near East Berkeley Street, he came across an unusual sticker slapped on the back of a State Police cruiser: “Racial Profiling Saves Lives,” it read.

The appearance and saying were alarming, enough so that Kantos publicly asked officers for an explanation—or at least tried to give them a heads up about the sticker.

“Can anyone help me comprehend this Mass. State Police bumper parked in Boston? Vandalism I hope?,” he asked.

The officers got back to Kantos just around noon the following day, sweeping the matter under the rug by telling Kantos the image of the sticker was nothing more than a fake, and that someone likely tampered with the photo he shared on Twitter by digitally manipulating it.

“Unknown to [the Trooper] assigned cruiser, we checked immediately,” police officials said in a tweet to Kantos. “No bumper sticker. #photoshopfail.”

Kantos didn’t like that accusation so much, however, since he took the photo, which was even timestamped and marked via geolocation on his iPhone.

“Thank you, Mass. State Police for the photoshop accusation!,” said Kantos in his response, before he shared the screengrab of when and where the photo was taken, as well as a second image where his shadow from him standing behind the cruiser taking the photo could be seen. “The only unrealistic thing about these photos is that my battery life is at 98%.”

Police haven’t responded to Kantos, but the sticker doesn’t appear to be on the cruiser any longer. Whether the police removed it shortly after Kantos noticed it over the weekend, or as soon as Kantos tweeted at them remains a mystery.

But one mystery that’s easy enough to solve is this: Kantos probably has less to lose by photoshopping an image with a fake, offensive sticker, than police do for driving around with it unknowingly on their car.

Following the back-and-forth, some people had suggestions for how it should have been handled instead:

  • Zumbot

    The irony is profiling does work. Ask yourself the same question the next time you’re in an airport and the TSA gropes a 90-year old grandmother or 6 year old child and lets pass a woman in a hiijab because it’s not PC.

    • derpatron5000

      That’s not ironic and it’s not true. Racial profile is stupid and lazy. Quite frankly, I expect more from government and law enforcement.

      • Phd

        Racial profiling works when black do in fact commit 55 percent of all violent crime, including rapes.
        You should expect the law enforcement to nab the law breakers as soon as possible using all resources. and rational.
        Going after the Swedish swim team when someone strong arms a corner store for cigars is not rational

    • Guest

      And you obviously don’t grasp:

      1. Irony
      2. Basic constitutional rights
      3. The day-to-day terror of being profiled

      • Zumbot

        Adam, I am talking criminal profiling NOT racial profiling. There is a difference and behavior can be analyzed. I agree fully with your comments: congress has used our constitution as toilet paper. Welcome to the new ‘merica. We’re a police state. There is a difference between government and politics.

      • noahsalak .

        “The day-to-day terror of being profiled”..If you really had an issue with it, you’d quit being BLACK!!

        • Phd

          UPDATE .. Man who hangs out in alleyways reading tiny bumper stickers on cop cars (when he isn’t following the Kardashians on twitter) is prime suspect in putting tiny bumper stickers on cop cars..

      • Phd

        We graps that……
        1 it’s ironic that it does work
        2 that profiling does not offend any constitutional rights
        3 profiling is about behavior , and yes, if you behavior is bad you should be filled with day to day terror.

  • blueskybigstar

    Whoever put that on his car is endangering his life.