Social Media FAIL!: Police Investigate "Gun-Wielding Mannequin Challenge" Video that was published to Facebook, get a Search Warrant, make Multiple Arrests and Seize Handguns, an Assault Rifle, a Shotgun, Body Armor, Ammunition, Marijuana & Paraphernalia
Meet 49 y/o Kenneth White and 23 y/o Terry Brown, both of whom are from Huntsville, Alabama and are pictured below in their recent mug shots...
Both men were arrested in Huntsville, Alabama at 5:00 am on Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 after police were sent a "gunfight-themed mannequin challenge video" that had been posted on Facebook in November (you can watch the video by clicking here).
The video shows nineteen (19) people, most armed with guns, posing in what is best described as a "freeze-framed shootout".
The video was reportedly posted on the Facebook profile of a one "Hailey Nichols" on November 9th, 2016 and has been viewed more than 4,000,000 times, including by the Madison County Sheriff's Office. Per Captain Mike Salomonsky: "You have a lot of people with firearms at one address and you have to ask yourself the question, "Why?" and the second question you have to ask yourself: Is it a public safety issue?"
During the ensuing month-long investigation police discovered that the house in the video was also being used to sell marijuana, and so they were able to obtain a search warrant resulting in the December 6th raid.
When cops busted the door in the found White and Brown inside the home along with four (4) other folks, including kids. Police recovered two (2) handguns, an assault rifle, an older single-barrel shotgun, an attack vest (a/k/a body armor), ammunition, magazines for the assault rifle, a computer, marijuana, scales and a grinder. White, a convicted felon, was charged with possession of both marijuana and a firearm, while the younger Brown was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, loitering and promoting prison contraband (the contraband charge came after Brown had been transported to the main prison facility at which point he was reportedly "found to have marijuana on his person").
Per Captain Mike Salomonsky the investigation continues as "[t]here are several persons in the video who may be convicted felons, so, we're going to try to do some identification, work with the ATF and see if we can generate any charges out of that."
Memo to the Folks: Law enforcement (cops and prosecutors) can, and will, get their grubby paws on your texts, Social Media communications (posts, comments and pictures alike) and can track your whereabouts, with or without a subpoena, and any private citizen who wishes can save, store and deliver anything that they wish to either the cops or the prosecution without any constitutional consequence whatsoever. Further, once armed with YOUR Social Media materials, if they are relevant to your case then the same will likely be admissible as evidence against your interests. Please watch HaberPA's VideoFAQ /YouTube Webisode on "Social Media and the Law" by clicking on the video link below:
Memo to the Folks continued: Following are "Haber's Rules of Social Media # 1 - 5":
Haber's Social Media Rule #1: Think BEFORE you post.
Haber's Social Media Rule #2: Once posted always posted.
Haber's Social Media Rule #3: Don't post anything that you would not want your mother to read / see.
Haber's Social Media Rule #4: Cops literally troll the internet looking for folks who go to, look in, download from or upload to targeted (and usually, but not always "deviant") sites. They also conduct internet "stings", posing as children or deviants and looking to bag anyone foolish enough to take the bait.
Haber's Social Media Rule #5: If it's even remotely relevant to a pending charge then prosecutors will cram your social media posts, and history (sites visited, searches made, etc) down your throat in court.
Social Media: It's all fun and nice until it's introduced into evidence against you in Court. See "Haber's Rules of Social Media # 1 - 5" by clicking here...
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