Sheriff John Urquhart says his office is investigating how a sexually suggestive comic strip appeared on the Burien Police Department’s Twitter feed, apparently a prank by a hacker.
A sexually suggestive comic strip that appeared on the Burien Police Department’s Twitter feed Thursday night is no laughing matter, says one city councilwoman.
“I clicked on it last night and I was shocked,” Burien City Councilwoman Lauren Berkowitz said Friday. “My reaction is, if you’re a woman who needs police assistance in Burien, I’m not confident you’d get the same protection that a man would.”
The four-panel comic was quickly removed from the Twitter feed, but Berkowitz managed to copy the post and shared it with The Seattle Times.
King County Sheriff John Urquhart said the comic was posted by someone who hacked the department’s Twitter @BurienPD account. He has launched an investigation.
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The Sheriff’s Office provides contract police services to the city of Burien.
Urquhart said only two people at the Burien Police Department have access to the Twitter account.
Berkowitz said this is the second time in recent months that something objectionable has appeared on the department’s Twitter feed. In June, police posted a tweet on a domestic disturbance involving a woman and her 21-year-old son. “Maybe he didn’t do his chores,” the tweet read.
Berkowitz responded with a tweet of her own, saying she was “concerned” the department was “joking about an active DV call.” In response, Burien police said there was no physical violence involved in the call, but agreed that Berkowitz’s “point is well taken.”
Urquhart declined to comment on the June tweet, other than to say “The council member is right. DV is no joking matter.”
Berkowitz expressed concern when she learned of Urquhart’s assertion that the department’s Twitter account had been hacked.
However, she wondered why the department wouldn’t shut down the account during the investigation.
“And was it hacked in June, too? And if the police Twitter feed was hacked, what other systems of theirs were hacked? Should we be worried that sensitive data were also hacked?” she asked.