Shortly after escaped inmate Danelo Cavalcantewas captured in Pennsylvania on Wednesday following an intense 14-day manhunt, law enforcement officials posed for a group photo with the convicted killer.
The moment —showing dozens of officers in camouflage, holding weapons, surrounding Cavalcante— was captured by a helicopter from CBS Philadelphia station KYW, and it generated some criticism on social media.
One user on X, formerly known as Twitter, said the photo was in “bad taste.”
“I find it interesting that law enforcement is posing with smiles for the capture of Cavalcante,” another X user wrote, adding that law enforcement did a “nice job” but that Cavalcante “embarrassed them for two weeks.”
Another person compared the situation to SEAL Team Six, the American special operations unit who killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011.
When asked why no photos from the operation were released, then-President Barack Obama told CBS News’ “60 Minutes”that’s “not who we are.”
“You know, we don’t trot out this stuff as trophies,” Obama said.
An X users shared this quote, adding: “keep that in mind when justifying Danelo Cavalcante capture photo.”
Another X user said the photo was the “stupidest thing to come out of the manhunt,” calling it “really unprofessional.”
When asked about the criticism, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said the officers were “proud of their work.” “I’m not bothered at all by the fact that they took a photograph with him in custody,” Bivens said during a news conference on Wednesday.
The Pennsylvania State Police’s social mediapolicyprohibits the sharing of confidential information, images of badges or uniform patches without authorization, and presenting conduct that could erode the public’s confidence in the police.
Officials released several images after Cavalcante’s capture —including a photo of law enforcement leading him in handcuffs in what appears to be a hospital gown.
Cavalcante, who was held at the Chester County Prison in West Chester after being sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder, escaped from the facility on the morning of Aug. 31, launching an extensive manhunt.
After he fled, Cavalcante planned to carjack someone and flee to Canada, authorities said. He used a razor blade to shave his beard and mustache and survived on stolen watermelon and stream water, Cavalcante, a Brazilian national, told investigators through a Portuguese translator. He told law enforcement they nearly stepped on him several times during their search, as he hid under leaves and brush.
The Pennsylvania State Police was assisted by the U.S. Marshals Service during the extensive manhunt. A K9 named Yoda also assisted in locating Cavalcante.