Mississippi police pose with Black man accused of robbing bank

Eric Boykin was charged with armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

Black Twitter has questions after four white Mississippi officers with dogs posed for a photo with a captured Black suspect.

Eric Boykin was nabbed by officers from Prentiss Police Department after he allegedly robbed a bank Tuesday afternoon, Yahoo reports. The Gulfport man reportedly robbed the Hancock Bank, pulling a handgun on one of the tellers and fleeing the scene on foot with an undetermined amount of cash. 

Read More: Murder charges dropped against two officers who beat, body-slammed Mississippi man

Joe Rush, who lives on LeMoyne Blvd., said he saw Boykin in his backyard before he walked to the front and laid down in a flower bed as a truck drove by. Once the truck passed, the perpetrator made his way across the boulevard and ran through the woods. 

Eric Boykin thegrio.com
Eric Boykin (Credit: Prentiss Police Department)

“He only had one shoe on when I saw him and he must have crossed the ditch behind the house because his other shoe was muddy,” said Rush. “He also didn’t have any money on him because he only had shorts and a t-shirt on.” 

Officers reportedly found Boykin’s missing shoe in a yard at the corner of Victors and LeMoyne and a portion of the money and a hat were found behind the Rush home. He was able to elude a manhunt that involved officers from the ATF, FBI, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, the Mississippi Department of Corrections, the Louisiana State Prison System K9 team, the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department, and Columbia Police Department, per WLBT.com.

Boykin was ultimately captured in a wooded area near the bank, and his white captors made time to take a trophy photo of their “catch,” with the suspect seen shirtless and smiling. Social media users were quick to side-eye the police department’s photo.

One Twitter user commented, “Let this be the last picture they take in uniform!.”

“So either 1) none of the people involved, from the officers to the news station to the staffer who posted this, realized what a bad look this is or 2) they do know how it looks, and that’s why they posted it. Those are the only two possibilities! and they are both very very bad,” tweeted Josie Duffy Rice, a criminal justice system reporter and president of The Appeal.

Another tweeted, “This type of behavior is why police reform is absolutely necessary! These people have no sense of humanity!”

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User Billy Brown noted, “Well it looks like the suspect is in good health, breathing and smiling. Yeah bad form but they want ppl to know [they] didn’t go out to kill anyone today just to the job they were hired to do. Good people still serve as police officers. No matter how many are bad.”

User @ThreeViews wrote, “It looks very racist but it might not be. Cops do take pictures with criminals of all colors but even if it isn’t racially motivated, its turning humans into trophies and that dehumanizes people making it easier to shoot or mistreat someone because they’re seen as subhuman.”

User William Tim Franklin said, “They knew exactly what it meant.  This is the very reason why a total remake of policing in America is needed. It’s time to hold police accountable. Start with implied immunity. Every police officer should wear a camera, and buy there own insurance for civil liability.”

“This isn’t evidence, it’s not proof of anyone’s injuries (or lack thereof). It’s a trophy,” tweeted @ariel_gordon.

At this point, the identities of the officers are unknown. Boykin was charged with armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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