Colbert chief says Facebook photos were 'mistake' - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Colbert chief says Facebook photos were 'mistake'

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Colbert police Chief David Peterson said this Facebook post was a "mistake." (Facebook) Colbert police Chief David Peterson said this Facebook post was a "mistake." (Facebook)
Colbert police Chief David Peterson said this Facebook post was a "mistake." (Facebook) Colbert police Chief David Peterson said this Facebook post was a "mistake." (Facebook)
Colbert police Chief David Petersen talks about his social media activity. (KTEN) Colbert police Chief David Petersen talks about his social media activity. (KTEN)

COLBERT, Okla. — They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And some photos that being distributed on social media have lots of people talking.

One shows Colbert police Chief David Petersen sitting in a squad car, displaying his middle finger along with two young women who were doing the same thing while standing next to the vehicle.

Another photo shows Petersen, in uniform, with his arms around the teens, who were said to be 17 and 18 years old.

The images were posted on a Facebook page and soon went viral. 

The Colbert City Council spoke to Peterson on Tuesday. He told KTEN he is sorry for what he did, claiming he didn't even know the pictures had been taken.

"The position I'm in being the chief of police, I should have conducted myself in a professional manner at all times," he said. "But I'm still a human being, and I make mistakes, just like everybody else does."

He said his intention was to be a friendly police officer after the two girls had said they hated cops. Given the department's muddy past with a former chief who was accused of having neo-Nazi leanings,  Petersen said he wanted to change that image.

Peterson's predicament got a sympathetic ear from City Council member James Coble.

"All of us gets into a sticky situation every now and then," Coble said. "I think it's human compassion to give people a second chance."

Coble said Petersen's job is not in jeopardy as a result of this incident and said the Council thinks this is the right man to run the police department.

"I am going to continue to conduct my duties, but I am going to start being more... watch my P's and Q's and be more professional and act the way I should act," Petersen said.

Jaret Tatar, the father of one of the girls in the photos, agrees with the chief about that.

"He's supposed to set the standard of what professionalism is supposed to be, and as a father, I don't think it's very professional," he said.

One of the two girls pictured with the chief told KTEN there was no intention to make anyone upset.

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