On Tuesday State Del. Hyland “Buddy” Fowler Jr. joked about bringing in vicious police dogs to control Baltimore protesters, Richmond.com reports.
“I wonder if a few of these would help bring calm to Baltimore?” Fowler wrote in a Facebook post.
Although Fowler, who is seeking reelection, initially did not comment on the picture, he did take it down. The image pictured a K-9 dog, fangs showing, with the caption, “Go ahead and run. He likes fast food.”
Later Fowler acknowledged his error and apologized.
“I took the post down,” Fowler said. “It was not very thoughtful and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it.
“The situation in Baltimore is difficult and complicated and comments like that don’t help. I hope people understand I didn’t mean anything by it, that it was just a mistake.”
The picture, published by Blue Virginia, eventually spread around the web, drawing criticism from fellow lawmakers.
“I don’t know whether he thinks it is a joke or funny, but what I do know is that it is insensitive, unhelpful and in total disregard for the difficult situation facing the citizens of Baltimore and, honestly, the public safety officers,” said state Sen. A. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico.
“As Baltimore residents express their frustration and anger over the death of an unarmed citizen and as police struggle to maintain order in these difficult times, Delegate Fowler chooses to exacerbate a tense and very difficult situation with his idea of humor, if one can even stoop to call it that.”