The Los Angeles Police Department has launched an investigation after a hiring ad for the force showed up on right-wing website Breitbart, which has a history of trafficking in hate-filled headlines and now serves as a bastion of pro-Trump coverage.
On Friday, Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Noah Shachtman shared on Twitter a screenshot of the purported LAPD ad, which showed what appeared to be an image of a female officer and the tagline: “Choose your future.”
Addressing the ad in a pair of tweets Saturday, the LAPD assured the public that it “celebrates diversity and embraces it within our ranks, and within the city we serve,” raising concerns over its placement on “a website that creates a negative juxtaposition to our core values.”
“We take matters like this very seriously, and have begun an initial inquiry into the matter and to determine its validity, as well as what future steps can and will be taken to avoid this situation occurring in the future,” it added.
Commenting further on the matter Saturday morning, Chief Michel Moore said the LAPD neither bought nor acquired ad space on Breitbart. Neither did senior leadership within the city’s personnel department, he added, noting that both departments were looking into whether it was a “spoof” or an “effort to discredit” the force.
The LAPD’s recruitment account on Twitter said later Saturday that ads had been “purchased through Google and ended up on sites that do not reflect the City’s values through automatic placement.”
It said it had since stopped its Google ads so it could “reexamine our ad filters and take all necessary steps to ensure tighter control of ad settings.”
In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, Breitbart spokeswoman Elizabeth Moore called the outlet “one of the most pro-police, pro-law-enforcement news organizations in America” with “strong readership among the rank-and-file in the LAPD.”
“We have been cited by the New York Times Magazine as having one of the most diverse news rooms in the nation, with a history of promoting women and minorities into leadership positions,” Moore said.
Breitbart did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misidentified the author of the New York Times Magazine article as a former Breitbart employee. He is not, and we regret the error.