A South Carolina police chief threatened to arrest a Facebook user on Thursday after they wrote pro-legalization comments about marijuana on a post regarding a drug arrest.
The Raw Story reports interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago announced on the Columbia Police Department Facebook page that officers confiscated $40,000 of marijuana while they were investigating an apartment for drugs.
The post was deleted immediately, Popehat reported. But the following is a screen shot of the Facebook post by the police and the comment made by Brandon Whitmer that prompted the threat:
Writing in a follow-up comment, the interim chief identified himself using the department’s account, saying he made the post to threaten Whitmer with possible arrest and blamed a colleague for the deletion:
The interim chief wrote both posts, the department’s public information officer told reporter Ken White at Popehat. But Santiago’s point may have been misinterpreted.
“Chief was trying to say that he puts would-be-criminals on notice — if you commit a crime or plan to commit one, CPD will work hard to investigate and press charges according to the law,” Jennifer Timmons, the department spokeswoman, told The Raw Story. “It’s easy for social media posts to be misunderstood. The man who was so-called threatened openly admitted that he was not offended and appreciated the work of CPD.”
Timmons said that Whitmer made his comments in a later post, but all of his comments in the thread, along with the original post, have been erased since.
She also said Friday that Santiago contacted Whitmer personally regarding the comments, which wasn’t meant to be offensive or malicious.
Santiago launched the Facebook page, according to Timmons. He interacts with users who comment to make them aware of police matters.