South Carolina Police Chief Threatens Citizen Over Facebook Comment Opposing Drug War
The Police Chief of Columbia, South Carolina apparently doesn’t like disagreement very much:
Columbia may be both the largest city in South Carolina and its capital, but that doesn’t mean the city’s interim police chief has anything better to do than threaten to hunt down and arrest citizens who post complaints on his department’s Facebook page.
After the CPD published a post bragging about the recent seizure of “$40K of marijuana” from a Columbia apartment, resident Brandon Whitmer suggested in the comments that perhaps the department’s resources would be better spent on tracking down “the people shooting people in 5 points instead of worrying about a stoner that’s not bothering anyone.”
“It’ll be legal here one day anyway,” he added.
An unidentified department employee did not appreciate Whitmer’s take on reality, and responded by insisting that police “have arrested all of the violent offenders in Five Points” and thanking him for “sharing your views and giving us reasonable suspicion to believe you might be a criminal.”
The comment concludes with the threat: “We will work on finding you.”
That comment was deleted, but it was replaced with something far more incendiary:
Not surprisingly, the response was deleted almost as swiftly as it had appeared.
Surprisingly, it was replaced by a comment claiming to be from Interim Chief Ruben Santiago taking credit for the original comment, and blaming its disappearance on “one of my staff members.”
“I put everyone on notice that if you advocate for the use of illegal substances in the City of Columbia then it’s reasonable to believe you MIGHT also be involved in that particular activity, threat?” Santiago wrote. “Why would someone feel theaten [sic] if you are not doing anything wrong?”
Here’s a screen shot of Santiago’s comment:
Welcome to Columbia, South Carolina where the First Amendment need not apply.