Investigators Leverage Social Media For Criminal Invstigations

LITTLE ROCK, AR — Investigators say when suspects post to social media, they’re sharing information not just with friends — but also with police. Using Facebook, Twitter and other platforms are becoming part of the police investigation work flow.

“It can be a break,” said UALR Chair Criminal Justice Dr. Jeff Walker.

Walker says social media helps authorities catch suspects more than you might think.

“People have a tendency to over share on social media and criminals are no different,” said Walker.

On Wednesday Little rock Police were searching for Kevious Foster, the man who allegedly gunned down another man on Capitol Avenue.

As police searched, our viewers turned to Facebook to give tips on where Foster could be, saying the alleged shooter was updating his Facebook status just an hour before authorities announced he was wanted.

“It gives you leads that you can use to gather the evidence,” said Walker. 

Walkers says although helpful, social media can also be a downfall for investigations.

“Say you have a burglary, ‘I think it’s this person’ and they send you a picture, well, it must have been that person because I have seen them before and it taints the line-up and it taints the identification in court,” said Walker.

LRPD did NOT say whether Foster’s social media posts helped in this case. The 22-year-old surrendered to authorities Friday.

Walker says social media has become a tool authorities can’t ignore when the hunt for a suspect has begun.

“This is another piece of information that’s available and you don’t have the leave the office to use it,” said Walker.

Foster is facing murder charges and battery charges. Police say he wounded two other people in the shooting but they are facing non-life threatening injuries.

For updates on this story on others like Ken Buffa’s Facebook page here. Follow him on Twitter here.

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