Mother upset after police refuse to delete 'embarrassing' Facebook post
WINTER HAVEN (FOX 13) - It was intended to be a good deed by a Winter Haven police officer, but it turned into a hurtful situation for the family he was trying to help.
A photo posted on the Winter Haven Police Department's Facebook page showed a family receiving free groceries, but the mom says she never knew it would end up on the agency's social media account and leave her daughter in tears. The family tells FOX 13 they never wanted the attention.
Micah Frasier said the free groceries from police couldn't have come at a better time. She had just lost her job and said she was more than grateful, but she had no idea her family's private situation would be shared with Winter Haven PD's more-than 22,000 Facebook followers.
They say they never gave police permission to post it on social media, but police say otherwise.
"My daughter came home crying," Fraiser said. "Saying a little boy told her 'I had seen the police had said your parents can't pay for food for you.'"
Fraiser said she doesn't have Facebook and only learned about it from her daughter. Police initially visited their house after receiving a 911 hang-up police determined was accidental, but went the extra mile and bought groceries for the family after learning about their situation.
"A family having a tough time due to the mother of four children losing her job, leaving no money for food," the post stated.
Embarrassed her family's situation was shared on social media, Frasier asked police to take it down, but they refused.
"If there is any kind of embarrassment," Winter Haven Police Public Information Officer Jamie Brown said, "they posed for the photo and gave us permission to share it."
"I said to the officer, 'Of course you can take a picture,'" Fraiser said, "'as long as it won't be on social media or nothing like that.' And the officer said, 'No, we would never put it on anything like that.'"
According to Fraiser, the officer said the photo would be used within the police department to show other officers in training an example of a good deed.
"If it's offensive to the family," Brown continued, "we can't control their feelings."
Shortly, after FOX 13's interview with police, they hid the post, making it so it's not visible on their page. They later published a new post explaining those who originally liked, commented and shared the original post will still be able to see it.
Fraiser still wants the post to be deleted, but according to police, they are not allowed to delete Facebook posts.