Cops Using Facebook to Track Down Individuals

Cops Using Facebook to Track Down Individuals

New York City’s Brownsville area of Brooklyn is one of the most crime infested areas n New York. Brownsville cops are spending a portion of their shift on Facebook where they have found evidence of illegal gun possession and criminals. These criminals blatantly post the crimes they have committed and almost brag about them on social networks.

The statistics prove that the strategy is working. Brownsville cops took more illegal guns off the streets in 2012 than in the year before. Gangsters post pictures of themselves with money, drugs, and weapons and it doesn’t take very long for the cops to track them down. Residents of Brownsville have noticed a difference in their community and there seems to be less violence.

Social media is often evidence used to corroborate other existing evidence. Postings and pictures can help tip off the police on locations and details. Some cops create fake profiles, and attempt to befriend the suspect. If the suspect accepts their request the cop has access to all of his or her public information. Another way cops are using social media is to subpoena Facebook which will give all the details of the account. Pictures are the best evidence to obtain for trial, beacuase they are jurors favorite kind of evidence. You do not need an expert to explain them.

Most of the time, it is rare that Facebook alone will convict a defendant. Criminal defense lawyers also use Facebook and social networking as evidence to help their clients such as messages and other post. Although courts treat social media as public information, as it becomes more prevalent I am sure the way it is handled will change.

Source: “Cops Use Facebook to Track Illegal Weapons.” Michele Bowman. February 13, 2013.

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