Welcome back and thanks for joining us here at The Kronzek Firm. We’ve been talking about the role social media plays in solving crimes these days, and it’s bigger than you’d imagine. In the previous article we shared an example of a recent case out of Canada where a young woman was sentenced to 7 years in prison for murdering her best friend, all because cops were able to identify the belt she wore in a selfie as the murder weapon. But scrolling through your pictures is only a small part of how cops use social media to solve crimes. Check out some other ways here…
Here in Michigan, cops use social media for many reasons.
Social media is a tool. Whether they’re working in Lansing, Battle Creek or Howell, cops just want to solve the crimes that are assigned to them and like everybody else, they’ll use whatever tools are available to get the job done. How, you wonder? Here are soe of the most common ways police use social media to solve crimes:
- By posting requests for information online (usually Facebook and Twitter) when they’re struggling to come up with answers and need help from the public,
- By searching through someone’s private messages on their social media platforms, looking for evidence of contact with people who may be involved in a crime (often in cases of kidnapping and murder.)
- By scrolling through a person’s posts, looking for info they may have shared that could tie them to a criminal act (like the guy who stole a lot of money and then posted on FB about how he suddenly had all this cash to burn!)
- By viewing a person’s pictures for signs of contact with certain people, or evidence that they were in certain places at specific times.
- By checking out your ‘check ins’. If you mark yourself as present in a certain place at a certain time, that counts as evidence that you were there if a crime takes place and cops need witnesses, or even suspects.
Many crimes over the years have been solved using social media.
Did you ever hear about Melvin Colon from New York? He was a suspected gang member whose Facebook posts contained pictures of him flashing gang signs. Although the really incriminating evidence was in his private messages, which contained references to past crimes and threats against others. Cops couldn’t access Colon’s private messages, until one of his friends agreed to give it to them in a deal, and suddenly they had the motherload when it came to evidence against Colon.
Colon claimed that the cops had no right to use information they got from his private messages, and the case ended up before the federal appeals court. The judges, however, disagreed with Colon, saying that his “...legitimate expectation of privacy ended when he disseminated posts to his ‘friends’ because those ‘friends’ were free to use the information however they wanted — including sharing it with the government.” Ouch.
Be careful what you put online, even if you think it’s private!
When you’re online, private doesn’t really mean private. And once the info is out there, you can never really get it back. Here at The Kronzek Firm, we’ve been defending the accused in Michigan for a quarter of a century, so we know exactly how tricky it can be to defend against this kind of evidence. But we also know how to fight it when it’s being used against you.
So if you’re being accused of a crime, whether you live in Lansing, Kalamazoo, Metro Detroit or Jackson, make sure you call us at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail). Our highly skilled defense attorneys are very, very good at what we do, and if you’re fighting for your future and your freedom, then that’s exactly what you need. The right attorney is critical. Our criminal defense team is available 24 / 7 for emergencies and crisis intervention. Don’t wait another second.