Alabama police department blames 'young people' who 'embraced Satan' for homicides

A police department in Alabama said its community members have rejected God and “embraced Satan,” which the department reportedly claimed is the reason for an increase in homicides in a since-deleted Facebook post.

The all-caps post from the Opp Police Department came after two deadly shootings in the space of two days in Covington County, according to The Associated Press.

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“THESE MURDERS HAVE BEEN DONE BY OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. THIS IS HAPPENING BECAUSE WE HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM GOD AND EMBRACED SATAN. WE MAY HAVE NOT MEANT TO DO SO BUT, WE HAVE. IT IS TIME TO ASK FOR GOD’S HELP TO STOP THIS,” the since-deleted post read.

The post has drawn the ire of the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which says it’s illegal for a government entity to criticize or endorse a particular religious belief.

The police department for Opp, a town of 6,500 people about 80 miles south of Montgomery, frequently posts on Facebook, although Tuesday's message marked a striking change in tone. Posts frequently include "God bless."

"IT IS TIME TO BE PARENTS AND RAISE OUR CHILDREN, NOT HAVE THEM RAISE US. IT IS TIME TO FULLY SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT AND STAND BY THE OFFICERS AND DEPUTIES THAT ARE FAR TOO OFTEN HAVING TO WALK INTO THESE DANGEROUS SITUATIONS AND CLEAN UP THE MESS," the post this week said.

The Opp Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.