Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Mom Confessions Mom Confessions

Young Man Commits Suicide After Sheriff's Office Mocks Him on Facebook

Posted by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:13 AM
  • 175 Replies
1 mom liked this

Young Man Commits Suicide After Sheriff's Office Mocks Him on Facebook

by Linda Sharps

Do you remember the story about the Facebook page run by a police chief from Ohio in which he referred to criminals as "mopes"? The Brimfield Police Department's Facebook page is now one of the most-liked local police pages in the country thanks in part to those snarky crime narratives, and I thought the whole thing seemed like a legitimately funny and engaging use of social media.

There's another story about police from a small town using Facebook to shame criminals in a lighthearted manner, but the outcome is far less humorous. A sheriff's office in Idaho recently published a sarcastic Facebook post about a 19-year-old man named Andrew Cain ... and a few days later, Cain took his own life.

According to multiple reports, last Thursday the Latah County Sheriff's Office in Idaho posted a photo of 19-year-old Pullman, WA resident Andrew Cain along with a message that read, “We have decided that Andrew Cain is no longer the Wanted Person of the Week ... he is the Wanted Person of the Month of June. Congratulations!"

On Sunday, Cain committed suicide.

Cain's sister Alise Smith says she doesn't hold the sheriff's office responsible for Cain's death, but she did call the post “childish.” She also says a deputy contacted her brother via private message, telling Cain that if he turned himself in, he could get a copy of his wanted poster.

That's what was upsetting was that they were privately messaging him and harassing him. (...) Those are the people protecting us, that is just not right.

Smith says strangers began sending her brother online messages after the Facebook post, and that it may have become too much for him:

It's like he couldn't escape it for five minutes cause everyone around him shared it and was bringing it up.

Boy, I'm just not sure how I feel about this one. On the one hand, the only person responsible for Andrew Cain's suicide is Andrew Cain. I don't think the sheriff's office can be blamed for his actions in any way. Plus, it's long been a practice of law departments to post public information about wanted individuals, including photos.

On the other hand, I feel like they did act unprofessionally by editorializing the wanted poster and teasing him via private message. To me that crosses a line the Brimfield Police Department's Facebook page is careful to steer clear of (they don't use photos or names when they joke about their "mopes").

And honestly, it really doesn't sound like Cain had even done anything THAT villainous. Of his three warrants, one was for driving without privileges and the other for possession of a controlled substance. I mean, maybe the third was aggravated murder or something, but so far I'm not sure he deserved the snarky "Congratulations!" for being "Wanted Person of the Month."

At any rate, it's awful that Cain made the choice he did. I wonder if the Latah County Sheriff's Office will rethink their social media policies now?

Do you think this police department crossed a line with the Facebook poster caption and subsequent private message teasing?

by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:13 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
JDmommyJD
by the sauce is boss on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:15 AM
4 moms liked this

 I dont see a problem with what the sheriffs department did.

starlight91
by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:16 AM

yes the subsequent private message teasing was unnecessary.

starlight91
by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:17 AM
1 mom liked this

they sent the kid private messages teasing him.

Quoting JDmommyJD:

 I dont see a problem with what the sheriffs department did.


TeamTARDIS
by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:17 AM
29 moms liked this
Lmao, he was wanted, he was an idiot and he committed suicide and they want the police to feel bad?
It seems like the police are trying to find a humorous and light hearted way to bring in people who are wanted and to get the information out to the public.
This guy is the only one to blame. He couldn't get away from it? Turn yourself in and it all stops. Simple solution.
TeamTARDIS
by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:19 AM
5 moms liked this
They sent him a private message trying to get him to turn himself in. They had every right to.


Quoting starlight91:

yes the subsequent private message teasing was unnecessary.


ghostcat90
by Bronze Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:20 AM
3 moms liked this

They are criminals...they choose to be criminals...and he chose to NOT turn himself in.  We have a newspaper called "Just Busted" here that does the same thing.  People pay a lot of money for that thing!  Personally, I like the idea.

WalkingDeadlove
by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:20 AM
8 moms liked this
He was wanted by the police. They were trying to get him to turn himself in. If he wanted the taunting to stop all he had to do was go to the police station. Personal responsibility here.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:22 AM
9 moms liked this
If he had warrants out for his arrest why did they waste time posting crap on fb about him and instead just go pick him up?!?!?

This makes me think that yes our justice system is a complete joke.
Pnukey
by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:22 AM
2 moms liked this

The police department was trying new ways to do their job. HE WAS A WANTED CRIMINAL!! I have no sympathy for him. Idiot.

Mommy2b2many
by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:22 AM
4 moms liked this
He was a criminal... they were trying to get him to come in.... The private messages weren't rude... they were trying to get him to turn himself in. The sherrif's dept. Shouldn't be blamed for him killing himself. He probably couldn't handle the thought of going to jail. I'm surprised the kid lasted middle school if he was that sensitive.
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN