Monday, December 29, 2014

What people will post on Facebook, and the consequences of being blunt

The kind of trivia and nonsense people feel compelled to post on Facebook never fails to amaze me.

Personally, I only use it as a way to further distribute this weblog – making it possible for those people who are my Facebook “friends” to see this commentary without having to go searching for it (not that it’s hard to find).

AS I LOOK while writing this commentary, I see posts from a cousin informing the world she’s at a medical clinic waiting in line, pictures of people showing us all how their kids cried in Santa Claus’ lap and one individual asking if he should spend the afternoon watching “Game of Thrones” or “House of Cards” on television.

Then, there seem to be people like Aries Woodfin, who had to appear in court this weekend for a bond hearing following his arrest in suburban Ford Heights.

Prosecutors contend that Woodfin used Facebook to post ominous threats about law enforcement, and also said his contempt for police might cause him to commit acts of violence against “innocent white children.”

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, someone who saw the Facebook page contacted police in Alabama, who then contacted the Chicago Police Department – which conducted an investigation and found that the man lived in both the city and the south suburb.

WHEN POLICE SHOWED up at the suburban house Friday night, they found that he had set up a crude gun range for himself in the basement. They also found a .45 caliber pistol and spent shell casings all over the basement floor.

Which would appear to make it seem that Woodfin likes to practice with a pistol. But because he has a prior criminal conviction (for weapons-related offenses), he can’t get the Firearm Owners Identification card that would have made his possession of a weapon legal.

It is why he now is residing at the Cook County Jail, where a judge this weekend ordered that he be held without bond while charges of illegal firearms possession, assault, failure to have an FOID card and disorderly conduct.

Although it’s likely none of this would have come forth if the guy hadn’t felt compelled to use Facebook to be so open about his contempt for law enforcement.

YES, WOODFIN IS an African-American man who, according to the Sun-Times, told police he was a “warrior” and that the “streets would run red with blood” due to his upcoming actions.

We don’t really know if he had anything planned in the way of a violence spree. He might have been “all talk.”

But police are now crediting this as an example of how monitoring activity on Facebook can help prevent crime from occurring at all.

He’ll probably wind up with a lengthy prison term because of his rants, although I wonder if his legal defense will be something along the lines of “I didn’t really mean it.”

THIS IS LIKELY to be the norm for the near future, at least. On account of the slayings of two New York police officers who were sitting in their squad car in Brooklyn when a black man walked up and shot them both dead.

That man later shot himself – so we’re not going to get any lengthy legal proceedings or trial to assuage the desire of “law and order” types to have someone suffer for their “crime.”

Will Woodfin, who didn’t actually kill anyone, wind up having to stand in for those people who are eager to see a “cop killer” be prosecuted?

All because his real crime is being a nitwit who felt compelled to share his moronic rants publicly on Facebook.


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