KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A pair of Kansas City, Kansas, police officers are facing an internal investigation after several residents say they saw them posing with rifles and taking pictures in front of a message that read "cops stop murdering."
Celeste Lona says she watched from her front porch as the officers got out of their patrol car and walked up to the stop sign at 14th Street and Hasbrook Avenue in KCK.
"We see the cops pull up. I'm thinking, they're on a call," said Lona.
She says that the officers saw the sign and began laughing.
"They thought it was funny, 'ha-ha let's take a selfie'," said Lona. She says she watched as she says the officers pulled out rifles, taking turns posing in front of the sign.
Other residents say they didn't know what to think, as the officers took selfies in front of the whole neighborhood.
"I thought it was pretty scary at first, you know?" said neighbor Enrique Najera.
"You see the kids are out here playing. What if the kids would've seen it? What kind of message is that towards the kids?" asked Lona, who decided to snap a few pictures of her own, posting them to her Facebook page.
The post caught the attention of the KCK Police, who say they have started an investigation into the incident—adding that the actions of the unidentified officers showed poor judgment. The department said in a statement:
"The Kansas City, KS Police Department became aware of the photos depicting officers posing with patrol rifles in front of a stop sign thru social media late yesterday. The photos are disappointing and inappropriate. The Police Department has spent a great deal of time building relationships with the community in order to strengthen the confidence and trust they have our officers.
We hope the actions of these two officers will be viewed as poor judgement and will not take away from the good work being done every day by members of the Kansas City, KS Police."
Neighbors say they don't understand how two police officers who are supposed to protect and serve could seemingly make such a mockery of the message.
"When I watched them take that picture and they were laughing about it, to me it looked like they were very proud," said Lona.
Officials say that they will wait until the investigation is complete before deciding on any punishment for the officers involved. The message has since been removed from the stop sign.