Mount Pleasant, MI – The vice mayor of Mount Pleasant likened police officers to Nazis in an image she posted to Facebook on Monday.
The photo, which was posted to Mount Pleasant Vice Mayor Amy Perschbacher’s personal page, featured a Thin Blue Line flag with the blue stripe partially pulled away to reveal a Swastika beneath it.
“Reading beneath the lines…” Perschbacher captioned the image.
Critics slammed the vice mayor for her post, with many calling it “disgusting” and demanding that she be removed from office, The Detroit News reported.
“She needs to be bounced,” one Facebook commenter wrote, according to the paper. “What a sleazy, anarchy, hate filled, pro-antisocial behavior spreading attitude.”
More critical posts poured in on Perschbacher’s “Amy Perschbacher for City Commissioner” Facebook page.
“Put on a badge and make a difference ? Nope easier to sit on my couch all safe and secure. Degrade a whole law enforcement community,” one angry citizen wrote. “Sure hope you never need to call 911 !! Resign.”
“As a police officer I am offended that your city rep had the audacity to post this!” another comment read. “I would be fired immediately if I posted such garbage.”
Others called Perschbacher “an embarrassment” and said she should be “ashamed” of her behavior.
Perschbacher, who is also a mental health therapist, told The Detroit News on Monday that she “didn’t think this [post] through very well,” and that she “should have put more context” to what she was trying to convey.
The vice mayor claimed she reposted the image because she was so upset over seeing U.S. Capitol rioters carrying and draping themselves with various flags – including Thin Blue Line flags – while storming the Capitol building on Jan. 6, The Detroit News reported.
“It struck me that they were wrapping themselves up in a flag which reflects respect for police while they were attacking, even killing police,” Perschbacher told the paper. “To me, they were using the (Blue Lives Matter) flag to cover up their hatred.”
She claimed she never intended to offend police or their supporters.
“At no time was I attempting to disrespect anyone in the military or law enforcement — I have family in both,” the vice mayor told The Detroit News.
Perschbacher also claimed her since-deleted post was taken out of context, according to the Morning Sun.
“I was referring to the attempt coup where individuals, carrying flags of blue line, confederate, and Nazi symbols, attacked our nation’s capital and law enforcement, killing one officer,” she told the paper. “To those individuals the blue line flag is nothing. They use it to state they are ‘Law and Order’ but in reality they are individuals who do not respect not one person who thinks or looks differently from them; whether in uniform or not.”
The vice mayor said she hopes the public will “forgive” her “careless” social media post, the Morning Sun reported.
“I allowed my emotions to get the better of me,” she lamented.
A Mount Pleasant city commissioner and other city officials received complaints about Perschbacher’s anti-police post, Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Joseph confirmed on Monday.
“It was her private webpage and in no way does it reflect any thoughts from the city or our commission,” Joseph told The Detroit News. “It does not represent Mount Pleasant.”
The mayor said he does not know if the post violated any city policies or if Perschbacher might face any sanctions over the incident.
The city released a statement on Tuesday in apparent attempt to distance itself from Perschbacher’s divisive post.
“The City of Mt. Pleasant does not support the recent Facebook post from Amy Perschbacher, Vice Mayor, to her personal Facebook page,” the city said. “The post was an expression as a private citizen; not as a member of the Mt. Pleasant City Commission.”
“Ms. Perschbacher believes the meaning of her post was interpreted differently than intended,” the city added.