Michael Dalton enjoys making videos on Facebook in his spare time. Little did he know it would lead to receiving a visit and tickets from local law enforcement, CBS reports.
“On a whim I say, ‘Hey I’ll do a quick recording.’ I found this new little shortcut if you don’t want to go across the highway,” said Dalton.
Dalton recorded footage of the short cut, which showed him traveling over private property in order to access a shopping center more quickly. The video was shared on the Woodland Park Community Page, causing much conversation and gaining the attention of local authorities. A week later police visited the home of Michael Dalton and issued him tickets for reckless driving and running a stop sign.
“You’re writing me for the stop sign based on my video?” Dalton is heard asking the officer on the recording.
The officer responds, “Yep.”
Is this the future of policing? Law enforcement or a computer program at a fusion center that trolls the Internet looking for images, words and videos of past crimes?
Woodland Park Police believe social media posts are able to be used as evidence of a crime.
“We’ve seen stuff on Facebook before that has led to different things, but this is the first time that I’m aware of that we’ve given a ticket for it,” said Sgt. Andy Leibbrand with the Woodland Park Police Department.
“You have a First Amendment right to post whatever you want, and can. But if you’re breaking the law and it’s in our jurisdiction, then we can do something about it,” Leibbrand said.
“Is this where we’re at? Can they use videos from Facebook to give me traffic violations? Can they do that to everybody?” Dalton asked.
Dalton intends to fight the ticket in court.
Undoubtedly the Internet police have arrived.