Leaked Intel Memo Directs Police to Pipe Down on Facebook | Civil Liberties | AlterNet

Posted: March 5, 2011 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized

By G.W. Schulz

In February 2009, Gary Waters went to court in Brooklyn, accused of possessing a loaded 9mm handgun and bundle of ammo while on parole for burglary. It looked like a simple case. But Waters escaped the charge. Why? The NYPD officer named Vaughan Ettienne who arrested Waters had a MySpace persona defense attorneys seized on as evidence of his tendency toward police misconduct. Ettienne’s social-media profile allegedly described his mood as “devious,” and in a status update, he claimed to watch the movie Training Day for brushing up on “proper police procedure.”

The problem: Training Day is about violent and corrupt detectives in Los Angeles who wield bogus search warrants and deploy vigilante street justice. In other postings, Ettienne appeared to offer advice on how to assault detained suspects, according to the New York Times:

The man on trial claimed that Officer Ettienne and his partner stopped him, beat him and then planted a gun on him to justify breaking three of his ribs. Suddenly, Officer Ettienne was being held to the words that he wrote in cyberspace.

Law enforcement leaders don’t want such mistakes to be repeated. What’s interesting is how authorities are going about teaching cops to stay quiet online. An intelligence memo marked “for official use only” that leaked onto the Internet earlier this month warns officers against such Internet blunders, informing them that criminal defense lawyers will use unsavory remarks as a strategy to spring their clients from custody, just like the Gary Waters case.

via Leaked Intel Memo Directs Police to Pipe Down on Facebook | Civil Liberties | AlterNet.

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