I understand that outing undercover police officers complete with photo goodness on Facebook is one of those things that you’re probably going to get in some trouble for, perhaps rightfully so. But when the aforementioned photo goodness was obtained from the aforementioned undercover cop’s Facebook profile, should that not gain you at least a few leniency points? And maybe, just maybe, should we not be arresting the cop as well for endangering his own safety, or at least sitting him down for a stern talking to about his malignant stupidity?
Mesquite police arrested Melissa Walthall, 30, for allegedly posting the photo of the officer, who authorities say recently testified in a drug case against her friend. Her Facebook post identified the person as an undercover officer, according to a federal affidavit.
After a caller tipped off Mesquite police to Walthall’s Facebook post about a week ago, an investigator found that it posed a “viable threat to that officer’s safety,” the affidavit said.
The Dallas Morning News reports that her friend, George Pickens, 34, was upset about the officer’s testimony and found his photograph on Facebook while researching him online.
Pickens’ brother, Bobby Stedham, used the photo to make fliers, and the two men planned to display them like garage sale signs, according to the affidavit. Police reported finding them while searching Pickens’ Dallas-area house.
The story goes on to explain that social media is a new world, and that a lot of police agencies don’t have well defined policies if they have any at all. Whenever they get around to drawing those bad boys up, perhaps get your undercover guys the fuck off of Facebook would be a good starting point. Then again, leaving that bit out is probably a good way to separate the good undercover guys from the not so great ones, which is certainly something worth exploring.