MASON CITY, Iowa - A racist video published on social media by two Mason City teens has drawn sharp criticism from the Mason City Police Department.
The video of two white teens making racist comments was “offensive, racist and done in poor taste,” police said.
One of the females in the video is an immediate family member of a Mason City police officer.
“The Mason City Police Department does not support this action in any way and has worked diligently to build relationships in our community and to improve the diversity of our organization. We have conferred with the Cerro Gordo County Attorney about this matter. At this time, MCPD believes the content of the post is protected by First Amendment free speech. While offensive to nearly everyone who has seen it, First Amendment speech is limited only in time, place, and manner by law enforcement authorities. The Clear Lake Police Department has been asked to further investigate to avoid a conflict of interest. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call CLPD at 641-357-2186.”
The Mason City School District urged parents to talk to their children about social media.
“The Mason City Community School District learned today of a social media post having racial implications which was made outside of the school environment by two students enrolled in Mason City Community School District. Our highest priority is to ensure the ongoing safety of students and staff at Mason City Schools and to be responsive to and supportive of all of our students’ needs. We encourage parents to talk with your children about their use of social media and the implications it can have on their family, friends, classmates and their community. We are working with the Mason City Police Department in this matter and we ask for everyone’s help in building positive relationships to help our community move forward together,” the school district said.
Mason City police offered a similar comment.
“For those in our community who are impacted by this post, we empathize with your anger and disgust. We encourage parents to talk to their children about their use of social media and its potential impact on them, their friends and classmates, and their community. We, as people, are more alike than different, but sometimes need to take intentional steps to learn more about those who are different than us. My hope is that, in time, we can grow from this and be better and stronger than we are today,” police said.