Officers handing out "Turkeys Not Tickets" is supposed to be a community-building program, but MSNBC correspondent Joy Reid said that it is "traumatizing." Reid even went as far as to claim that the traffic stops were fake, writing, "terrifying people with a fake and possibly unlawful traffic stop is not smart public relations."
Turkeys For Minor Infractions
Throughout the country, law enforcement has taken to handing out turkeys instead of tickets to motorists to foster goodwill and a positive relationship with those in the community, according to FOX News. For example, officer Jason Flam with the Mesa Police Department gave those who had minor traffic violations a turkey in place of a citation.
According to KSAZ, the drivers who were on the receiving end of the birds were surprised, and the gesture deeply touched many. Flam said, "One lady with an infectious laugh…started laughing, but the tears were coming down. Another gentleman put his head down, and the tears just… don’t think they can afford the turkey, so it worked out really good."
Despite the positive reviews of the program, Joy Reid took to Twitter with her own opinion. "Please stop doing this, officers, especially to Black people. It's traumatizing, given the history of what happens to us in traffic stops."
Reid took it a step further and claimed that because these people drive vehicles, they should not get a free turkey because driving a car equates with being able to afford food for the holidays. Reid wrote, "And if someone is driving a car (in one of these cases to COSTCO, which requires a membership fee), they can buy a turkey. End of TED Talk."
Many of Reid's followers agreed with her, and some, including Reid, even went as far as to claim that the stops were just a fake PR stunt and the turkeys should be handed out elsewhere. However, others were all for the act of goodwill, including one person who wrote, "[Law Enforcement] is here trying to make an honest community service, doing a kind gesture to try and change public perception and they still get ridiculed by you and your followers."