Cedric Alexander on the connection between crime & social media

Apr 17, 2017

Credit @thecopdoc/Twitter

(WXXI News & AP) Authorities in several states have been on the lookout for a man police say shot a Cleveland retiree collecting aluminum cans and then posted video of the apparently random killing on Facebook.

Police also warned people in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan to be alert for Steve Stephens, who was wanted on a charge of aggravated murder. 

Cedric Alexander is a former Rochester Police chief who will soon be the city’s deputy mayor. He also has been serving as a police official in Georgia and appears frequently on CNN talking about law enforcement matters.

He told WXXI News that he doesn’t think you can blame social media for this suspect’s actions, and Alexander says although social media can be useful it can also have unintended consequences.

“Sometimes it may be really hard to legislate that, so it becomes more of a community issue, it becomes more of a personal issue, as to how do we keep ourselves in bound, so that everyone can operate on social media in a healthy and appropriate type of way.”

Alexander also says it’s another reason for people to pay attention to disturbing posts on social media and report them to the authorities when necessary.

“Certainly if you know it’s going to be posted, and certainly if you happen to see it before thousands and millions of other people do, I think it’s very important to report it; that’s taking responsibility for yourself and your community.”

Alexander will take over as Rochester’s deputy mayor later this month.