Capitalizing on the fear that Ebola struck in the hearts of many Americans not too long ago, the Granite Shoals Police Department in Texas posted a most devious notice to its Facebook page last week, according to ABC 7. The department shared some "breaking news" that was essentially a blatant lie meant to entrap drug users who trust whatever they read on Facebook. As of Monday afternoon, the department had removed all the Facebook posts related to this incident, but not until after several outlets, including someecards, had picked up the story.
Here's the text from the initial Facebook post:
Breaking News: Area Meth and Heroin Supply Possibly Contaminated With Ebola.
Meth and Heroin recently brought in to Central Texas as well as the ingredients used to make it could be contaminated with the life threatening disease Ebola. If you have recently purchased meth or heroin in Central Texas, please take it to the local police or sheriff department so it can be screened with a special device. DO NOT use it until it has been properly checked for possible Ebola contamination! Contact any Granite Shoals PD officer for testing. Please share in hopes we get this information to anyone who has any contaminated meth or heroin that needs tested.
The general reaction from commenters was that this was hilarious and nobody would fall for it:
But someone proved them wrong:
The following is PUBLIC INFORMATION.
And the winner of the Facebook post challenge is: Name HOPSON, CHASITY EUGINA
Chasity came in to the police and is now facing charges. Meanwhile, people continued to debate the merits of baiting drug users to a police station:
While I admit this is very funny.
However my laughter was short lived when I I consider the risk / reward to it,
Benefit: you catch a very few met heads. Who will spend a questionable amount of time custody with little chance of changing their lives. Recover a small amount of drugs.
Detriment: Further loss of trust in police. The police will be seen as not there to help you. Anyone in the future that trust the police will help them will be laughed at by their peers. And this story will be retold.
I believe peace officers all over this country are ultimately the loser in this joke.
Retired state peace officer.
What happens if some tweaker reads this after they've used 'tainted' meth and does something desperate and hurts themselves or someone else?
In response to the mild backlash, the police department released a Facebook statement that might not be worth your time to read, but just know there's a Jimmy Buffet quote in there:
I'm sorry but I feel this post needs to be sent out again:
I hope you liked our last post. Looks like about 99% of our followers got it. However, there were a few that thought we (GSPD) were being “unprofessional” by posting something of humorous nature. So here is a quick thought on the GSPD and law enforcement:
Many law enforcement agencies have Facebook® accounts. Most post minimal information, if anything at all. Some use it only to post information about suspects they are looking for. Others reach out to the community and show ways officer and the citizens interact. Others post about In The Line of Duty Death notices. We do all of the above and add the personal flair of the officers of this department.
Law enforcement is one of the best and worst careers to have. We get to help people. However, we also mainly see people at their worst or worst times of their lives. It’s rare for us to see you having your best time. The news only wants to show law enforcement at our worst times and not at our best. Only dirty laundry sells advertising time. This is not to say all law enforcement officers are saints. Just like any group, there is a bad apple or two that can tarnish all of the work of thousands of honest, caring professionals. Also, we have just split seconds to make life and death choices, while everyone else can re-play, in slow motion, for months on end armchair quarterbacking the actions of officers. And trust me, the story you see on the 6 o’clock news is not the whole story.
The current atmosphere in this country, at least according to the news media, is anti-police. This career can eat your soul. Law enforcement continually ranks as the profession with the highest rate of suicide, divorce, and substance abuse. This is not to mention PTSD and other medical disorders. The average life expectancy of a police officer who has a career in the field is ten (10) years LESS than the average American.
Let’s not forget that unlike a solider in a war zone, we can be called upon to respond to situations that can be more confusing and more dangerous than Bagdad. While we don’t (yet) have to worry about roadside IED’s, police are being targeted at an alarming rate. This year ALONE there have been twenty six (26) In The Line of Duty Deaths of law enforcement officers in the United States, and nine (9) K-9 officers. That is an unacceptable number and the current political atmosphere will not even address the problem.
So we at the GSPD like to show all parts of the enforcement world on Facebook® and that includes our sense of humor. To quote Jimmy Buffet, Changes in Latitude Changes in Attitude, “If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane.” Look for more posts to come that include suspects we are seeking information on, safety updates, interactions with citizens, In The Line of Duty Deaths, and things that make us laugh. I hope this will allow you to see who we are, humans, just like you. We have families, friends, lives, laugh, cry, and bleed all the same.
In short, 'twas a hoax and the Granite Shoals PD isn't sorry for it. Also, cops like Jimmy Buffet.