The city of Charlotte, North Carolina, has a problem.
Over the past few weeks, people in the North Carolina capital have reported a surge in incidents of crime.
The latest comes from a tweet sent from the account of Charlotte’s chief cop on Saturday.
The account is being used to report on crime in the city and other localities, and it’s also the account that’s retweeted messages like: “Charlotte police officer on duty tonight.
No shooting at all.
Police department in full riot gear.
They’re all wearing riot gear.”
The account also tweeted a picture of a police officer wearing a mask with a shield in the background.
The image shows the officer wearing the mask and the shield.
“What’s the reason for this?,” the tweet asks.
“Is this an attempt to intimidate people or are you trying to warn the public?”
The tweet comes after an attack on a police car that left one officer in a headlock and another in handcuffs.
Charlotte police Chief Kerr Putney told reporters on Monday that the department was investigating the tweet.
“If someone is going to use that as an excuse to try to intimidate us, then they need to go to jail,” he said.
“They need to take the punishment for that and take the consequences for what they’ve done.”
A police spokesman told CNN that the chief was investigating and that the officer had been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.
The tweet on Saturday has sparked controversy.
In a post on his personal Twitter account, Chief Putney says he is a “good man” who has “never been afraid to stand up for what’s right.”
“In the last 10 days, I have had the opportunity to live through a couple of the most violent events that I have seen,” he wrote.
“As a city of about 25,000, I can tell you, we have an incredibly high level of violence and it is an epidemic, but it’s a national problem.”
The chief added that he is aware of “the issues that have been raised and we are taking the necessary steps to address them.”
“We are in the midst of a mass riot, which has killed two people and injured over 20 others, as well as looting, vandalism and arson,” he added.
“I want to assure the community that we are doing everything in our power to bring this problem to a swift end.”
On Sunday, Charlotte police said the officer in the image was injured in an “active shooter situation” and that he was being treated at a hospital.
The officer has been on paid leave, and Putney said he did not want to speculate about the circumstances of his injury.
“We can’t confirm at this time that the individual is a suspect or a suspect is in custody,” Putney wrote.
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday she had been “in regular contact” with Putney since Saturday.
“Chief Kerr put out a tweet that we should all take seriously,” Roberts said.
She also said that her administration was working on a plan to help the officer recover from his injuries.
“The chief is doing an excellent job of keeping us informed,” Roberts told Cuomo.
“And the department is doing all they can to assist him in his recovery.”
But the chief’s tweet drew immediate backlash.
On Monday, an account known as “Charlottesville 2” claimed responsibility for the tweet, using the handle @CharlottesvillePolice.
The user’s account has more than 8,000 followers.
The Twitter account has also tweeted several anti-police images.
On Sunday night, a group called the “Alt-Right” posted an image with the words “Charlies police officer injured in riot,” along with the hashtags #CharliesRiot and #CharlotteRiotCop.
“Police officers and civilians alike have been brutally attacked in the streets of Charlotte,” the group said in the post.
“These violent thugs will be held accountable by the people who stood up for them and will not stand idly by.”
But there was no evidence of any violence in the immediate aftermath of the Charlotte police officer’s injuries.
Police have said they are investigating the tweets and have taken the matter seriously.
On Tuesday, Charlotte Mayor Roberts tweeted that the city was “working with local law enforcement to help ensure justice is served.”
“I am committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents and visitors in our city,” Roberts wrote.
In addition to the officer’s tweet, police tweeted out a statement saying they were looking into “an individual with the same name that used the image.”
“Charlians police officer is currently recovering from a head injury sustained during an active shooter situation,” the statement said.
But, the statement also noted that the tweet was “not related to an ongoing investigation.”
The tweet, sent at 9:30 p.m. local time, included the hashtagged #CharlisesRiot, and was shared on multiple social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook.