State Admonishes “Offensive and Distasteful” License Plate
ST. CLOUD -- A picture of a custom license plate with an anti-Muslim message caused a stir on social media this weekend, leading the state to apologize and revoke the plates today (Monday).
The Facebook page for the group #UniteCloud posted a picture of a vanity license plate reading "FMUSLMS" seen in St. Cloud on Saturday.
“This personalized license plate should never have been issued; it is offensive and distasteful," said Bruce Gordon, spokesman of the Department of Public Safety, in a statement released Monday.
Gordon says the application for the plates were processed at a deputy registrar's office in Foley and reviewed by Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) before the plates were issued in 2015.
“The Department of Public Safety apologizes for this error," Gordon says. "The Driver and Vehicle Services Division is reviewing its process for approving personalized license plates today and will immediately provide additional review and oversight of applications.”
Gov. Mark Dayton issued a statement saying he was "appalled that this license plate was issued by the State of Minnesota" and he has instructed the Commissioner of Public Safety to retrieve the plates as soon as possible and review procedures to ensure it doesn't happen again.
"[The plates are] offensive and the person who requested them should be ashamed," Dayton says. "That prejudice has no place in Minnesota."
Since sharing the photo, Natalie Ringsmuth of #UniteCloud says they have seen a great response by people in the community.
"That really is what #UniteCloud is all about," Ringsmuth says. "The fact that central Minnesota residents responded by calling and emailing local and state governments and we were able to get a quick response."