A police department in the US has apologised after a post claiming they’d ‘arrested Elsa’ for cold weather was met with uproar.
A bout of freezing weather has swept through the midwest of the US recently, and though it’s neither the height of summer nor a Disney movie, McLean police department in Illinois decided to blame Elsa, from Frozen, for the unpleasant conditions.
For anyone who’s not seen the movie, Elsa is a princess who struggles to control her powers, which allow her to create talking snowmen, build extravagant ice castles, and generally turn the whole kingdom into a freezer.
In a joking attempt to put an end to the treacherous weather hammering the state, on Tuesday (January 29) McLean police shared a post showing an unhappy “Elsa” being arrested for the cruel conditions she’d inflicted.
ATTENTION: Due to the EXTREME COLD weather, all criminal activity and acts of stupidity and foolishness has been cancelled. Even Elsa has been placed under arrest with NO BOND until further notice. Thank you for your attention and understanding to this matter. Respectfully, the McLean Police Dept.
While the post was intended to be humorous, it may come across in poor taste as the weather conditions are actually incredibly dangerous – even fatal.
According to Fox Carolina, as reported in Distractify, a 55-year-old man in Milwaukee was recently discovered “dead and frozen” after he went outside to shovel some snow.
The freezing conditions proved too much for his body to handle, and he tragically collapsed and froze to death.
As well as the untimely humour, it turned out a lot of people recognised the images of Elsa’s arrest, despite the fact the caption implied McLean police had taken the photos themselves.
One Facebook user commented:
Considering those pictures were taken in South Carolina 4 years ago ….. Jeeze, even the police are stealing credit for someone else’s work.…
While another wrote:
Way to steal photos and credit from a police department in a completely different state McLean….
It turns out the photos of the Disney character being led to the police car had been originally taken in Hanahan, South Carolina, where photographer Tammy Sakalas orchestrated the humorous stunt along with events company Glass Slipper Productions during another cold snap of weather.
While many accused McLean police of stealing credit for the photos, it seems the joke in itself actually goes back even further, as Glass Slipper Productions owner Lindsay Page told the Huffington Post they themselves were inspired by police in Kentucky, who had issued an arrest warrant for Elsa over cold weather the previous week.
Still, due to the lack of credit given to the photographer, McLean police later issued an apology, writing:
ATTENTION: Good morning. Apparently there has been an uproar of our most recent post of an Elsa character being taking into custody. Please note, we posted these pictures along with an explanation in reference to the very severe/dangerous cold weather that we are experiencing in Illinois.
The pictures were actually taken by Hanahan Police Department in South Carolina that we found on the internet…we were looking for pictures to show how cold it was getting and wanted to do something to rise up everyone’s spirit…we cant take credit for the pictures…sorry about the confusion.
The post continued:
We had no intention of taking credit for the pictures posted and was just trying to lighten the mood for everyone. Again, we apologize for any confusion. Please be safe, stay warm and God Bless.
Hopefully the cold snap will come to an end soon.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.