Sign Of The Times: Guy Updates Facebook Status During Police Standoff

from the all-the-world's-a-stage dept

Here's quite a story of our modern times -- Utah police were involved in a standoff with a guy in a motel and he updated his Facebook status throughout the ordeal -- which ended with him shooting himself in the chest as a SWAT team raided the place (he's now in critical condition at the hospital, but expected to survive).
Many of the reports claim that it was a "hostage" situation, because there was a woman in there with him, but, if you read through the messages, it seems pretty clear that she was there willingly. The guy, Jason Valdez, even posted photos of the two of them and joked about his "hostage."
Lots of friends and onlookers took part in the conversation -- especially since his Facebook page is open to the public. This might get some of them in trouble, as the press have reported on at least one friend, who posted on Facebook the location of police and warned Jason that there was someone with a gun in the bushes, to which Valdez replied "Thank you homie, good looking out!" Police are warning that those who sent such messages could face obstruction charges -- and, not too surprisingly, the message about the cops in the bushes has been deleted.

The whole thing really is quite a statement on how people communicate these days. Forget the negotiator on the phone, perhaps next time we'll see a full on standoff negotiation via Twitter.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 6:15am

    i saw that yesterday, I lol'd

     

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  2.  
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    John Doe, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 6:15am

    Facebook should be sued and/or shutdown

    Since Facebook was used to aid the commission of a felony, they should be sued, have charges pressed and shutdown. /sarc

    Seriously though, what idiot would help the guy during the standoff? Surely he had to know he could/would get caught and get in trouble?

     

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  3.  
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    Chargone (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 6:26am

    Re: Facebook should be sued and/or shutdown

    depends how significant he considers his friend getting shot to be compared to whatever the punishment for that is. assuming it's one of his actual friends and not just some random... not that the person could be That random if they're in a position to see what's going on...

     

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  4.  
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    Jose_X, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 6:36am

    the hunt

    It's sad this and perhaps many similar situations could not have been resolved more .. amicably.

     

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  5.  
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    Overcast (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 6:50am

    But is "obstruction of justice" even valid in this country anymore since - justice doesn't really seem to exist anymore...?

     

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  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 6:51am

    Old news is old.

     

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  7.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 6:55am

    Re: Facebook should be sued and/or shutdown

    Seriously though, what idiot would help the guy during the standoff? Surely he had to know he could/would get caught and get in trouble?

    If pointing out something that's happening in public is illegal, then wouldn't the TV news crews that show up and usually broadcast live during similar situations also be illegal? Police can, and regularly do, move people and press out of the area for this and other reasons - why not this time?

    I haven't made up my mind on it exactly, but I think a snap decision without knowing all the facts as to what was going on isn't a good idea.

     

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  8.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Facebook should be sued and/or shutdown

    "If pointing out something that's happening in public is illegal, then wouldn't the TV news crews that show up and usually broadcast live during similar situations also be illegal?"

    I think it's the intent that matters, although that's obviously tricky. I mean, is driving down the street with a friend in my car illegal? Well, if I happened to be waiting for him in Chase Bank's parking lot after he robbed it and another thing we liked to do for fun was wear dead-Presidents' masks....then yes....

     

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  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 7:10am

    The true "Sign Of The Times" is drivel and trivia.

    Duly re-posted by Techdirt, like a thousand others.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 7:45am

    How long before LEF have cell phone jammers in their arsenal.

     

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  11.  
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    Culturengine, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 7:48am

    Craazy

    No way am I updating my Facebook status during a police standoff. Twitter all the way!

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:02am

    Re:

    how long have they been fighting to get stationary jammers put into prisons?

    they'll be fighting verizon, att and crew forever on these new mobile jammers

    hopefully it's never allowed. they would definitely be abused; just look at the assinine behavior with the recent police camera-phone recordings

    LE gets all the advantage, all the power. LE is not supposed to be easy.

     

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  13.  
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    J McLeod (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 8:24am

    Obstruction of What?

    According to our constitution, only a jury of your peers is to decide what justice should be in this case.

    Repeat: only a jury of your peers.

    Police using the excuse of obstruction of justice is a just a way to try and get around our rights.

    These rights were written down on a piece of paper so there could be NO confusion on what these rights are.

    Police are made to take an oath to defend these rights BEFORE giving them their shiny badge and lethal weapon.

    Is any of this sounding familiar to the people of this country?

    The police are OUR employees. They should be held to the highest standards. Why is it acceptable for the employee to lie to the boss but a crime for the boss to lie to the employee? Do you see how far this country has gone into the toilet when people defend this behavior?

    The men who wrote that constitution didn't put the second amendment in there so we could defend ourselves against the common criminal. Common sense alone tells you to defend yourself against a stranger. The second amendment was placed there specifically so that we could defend ourselves against a government agency that has run amok. Read the Federalist papers.

    I think it's time we take the guns away from the police officers.

    We have the right to watch and report on our government -- AT ALL TIMES. When our government doesn't like it, then they are doing something they KNOW is wrong.

     

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  14.  
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    amer, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 9:48am

    Re:

    LOVE IS LIFE LIFE IS LOVE

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Sean T Henry (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 11:23am

    Re: Facebook should be sued and/or shutdown

    Warning him... I assumed "someone with a gun in the bushes" was a joke in reference to JFK. People post stupid shit all the time on facebook I don't think I would have thought that it was even real till after it happened of saw it happening.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 11:34am

    Re: Obstruction of What?

    Wow, you are taking this stuff WAAYY to seriously buddy. You remind me of the guy sitting on the gym screaming "Its still real to me Damnit!!"

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Facebook should be sued and/or shutdown

    "I assumed "someone with a gun in the bushes" was a joke"

    So did I.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    MrWilson, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: Facebook should be sued and/or shutdown

    This is why we need an internet kill-switch! The cops should totally be able to black out the internet to make sure people don't obstruct justice and aid suspects.

    /sarc

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    Sign of the times? You mean sign of delusions... yeah, I can understand the typo.

     

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  20.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 5:18pm

    Why Was The Message Deleted?

    1) The information was no longer of any sensitivity.
    2) Why not keep it as evidence?
    3) Or at least, as a matter of public record?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2011 @ 4:34am

    Re: Why Was The Message Deleted?

    Because.... FACEBOOK?!?

     

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  22.  
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    Hostile, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 2:57am

    Thats some bullshit

    obstruction of justice charges

    I think the guy over there is about to shoot my friend in the back of the head, but I shouldn't tell him, WTF

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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