Ky. department deletes Facebook post about testing meth for coronavirus after backlash

A spokesperson said negative feedback online prompted the department to remove the post

Sarah Ladd
Courier Journal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — How do you fight both the coronavirus and meth? The Louisville Metro Police department took an interesting approach. 

If you follow the department on Facebook, you saw a public service announcement shared Monday morning warning that some meth could be laced with the coronavirus. The post has since been deleted after not everyone thought it was funny. 

Spokesman Lamont Washington said the department got some negative feedback and decided to remove the post. The department encourages people to wash their hands and take precautions against the virus, though, he said. 

"LMPD has recently seized suspected methamphetamine which was laced with the Coronavirus," the now-deleted post began, above a photo of white bags and plastic Corona beer cutouts. 

"We want you to be safe, always. That's why we're willing to test your meth, free of charge!" the post went on. "Bring your meth to any of our police stations and an officer will take it from there. Don't take a chance with this new form of meth 'MethRona' or 'Coroneth' have your meth tested, today!"

The post was followed by a strings of hashtags: #IssaJoke, #WeFeelLikeOprahWithAllThisFreeStuff and #TheyCallHerStephanie_WeCallHerCrystalMethany among others. 

Others weren't impressed with the joke. One Facebook user wrote, "While I understand the humor here, it’s hard for me to get behind posts like this when there is already spreading panic and people are dying from this virus. This is in bad taste for a cheap laugh."

The COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus has now killed more than 3,000 people around the world. There have been more than 89,000 confirmed cases, included 86 in the U.S. 

Before Louisville Police broke the ice with their post, Henderson County, Kentucky, made a similar post. On Feb. 26, the page wrote, "WARNING: If you have recently purchased meth locally, it may be contaminated with the Corona Virus. Please take it to the Sheriff's Office or Police Department and they will test it for free. If you're not comfortable going into an office, please contact HPD at 270-831-1295 and they’ll be happy to send an officer with a test kit to you!" 

Some people commented on the post and asked if people would really come in to a police station. 

The page responded with, "So this is all meant as a joke, but if a few meth heads turn themselves in, is that really hurting anyone? Lol."

The two Kentucky pages weren't alone — The Washington Post reported on Feb. 28 that police in Wisconsin, Arkansas, Texas, Florida and more are all posting the faux warning. 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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