The Brief: Simi Valley Police Department's "Choose Your Character" TikTok video showcasing different law enforcement officials and their weapons was received poorly by Twitter users on May 12.
On May 12, Simi Valley Police Department attempted TikTok’s “Choose Your Character” trend. It is marked by creators changing their outfits while swaying back and forth, like avatars in a video game. The trend was first spotted on TikTok in November 2018 by @alextattoo.
The Simi Valley Police Department’s video, filed under #CopsOfTikTok, featured the text, “Choose Your Officer” at the top, while the officer showcased uniforms and weapons belonging to different law enforcement officials (patrol, bike cop, SWAT, and pandemic).
The video may have been created as an attempt to relate to youth, but considering America’s pained history involving police brutality against unarmed Black and Brown people, the video appeared tone deaf to many.
This officer put a law enforcement spin on the ‘choose your character’ TikTok challenge pic.twitter.com/8hhDTBb7NZ
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 12, 2020
Some Twitter users reminded others of events where police exercised excessive force against American citizens.
Now do one with what they would wear responding to a call.
I’ll start……A black male outside selling cigarettes pic.twitter.com/HZgAZe7Qs0
— K (@HKhanZi) May 12, 2020
Responding to an alt right event where 3 people have been killed and armed Breitbarters are protesting the right to drink Starbucks. pic.twitter.com/5rB6RnVlMF
— Rashad (@TheFFHustle) May 13, 2020
“Let me show you all of the outfits I have to terrorize the fuck out of Nick Gurs.”
— X (@XLNB) May 12, 2020
Others responded with memes representing their opposition to the video.
— Big Time Temüjin 🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@ShipitRideout) May 12, 2020
— 🔪GnawingonHoney 🧨 (@OshunchildJ) May 12, 2020
— Kache in must exceed cash out (@kachebass) May 12, 2020
— Ⓥ daria #notmeus ✨🌹 (@darialanoemi) May 12, 2020
The replies contained very were few tweets in support of the video.
Nothing to see here, just purely geared up to protect and serve the community pic.twitter.com/nEXhdLbb5s
— young urban professional (@PearShapedDude) May 12, 2020