— -- The St. Louis County Police Department is apologizing for an "offensive" social media message it sent today about Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was killed by a Cleveland police officer over a fake gun.
"Kids will be kids?" the tweet read, linking to more information about Rice, who was shot by a white police officer last month who thought the weapon was real. Rice was black.
The police department immediately deleted the post from its Twitter and Facebook pages. Chief Jon Belmar apologized this afternoon on Facebook.
"The intention of the post was to inform citizens about the potential danger of airsoft or pellet guns resembling real guns," he wrote. "However, the post was a misguided communication strategy and was offensive to many people."
"As Chief of Police, I apologize to Tamir's family and anyone who was offended by the post," the statement continued. "While the post did not originate from the Chief's Office and I was unaware of its presence prior to its release, I realize the message was insensitive to Tamir's family and the sorrow they are currently experiencing."
St. Louis isn't the only police department getting heat on social media. Shortly after news that the white police officer who killed New York man Eric Garner would not face criminal charges, the NYPD tweeted about rebuilding public trust, using the hashtag, #WeHearYou.
That tweet also backfired, and the NYPD implemented a ban on the department using social media, which was lifted today at 1:30 p.m.