South Carolina police chief to Facebook critic: "We will work on finding you."

When Brandon Whitmer criticized cops in Columbia, S.C. for focusing on small-time drug raids instead of solving violent crimes, interim police chief Ruben Santiago had words for him.
@Brandon whitmer, we have arrested all the violent offenders in Five points. Thank you for sharing your views and giving us reasonable suspicion to believe you might be a criminal, we will work on finding you.

The post was deleted almost immediately, but not before it was noticed and screencapped. In the resulting furore, Santiago lied about it.

This is Interim Chief Santiago posting. I was just notified that one of my staff members deleted my post. I put everyone on notice that if you advocate for the use of illegal substances in the City of Columbia then it's reasonable to believe that you MIGHT also be involved in that particular activity, threat? Why would someone feel threaten if you are not doing anything wrong? Apply the same concept to gang activity or gang members. You can have gang tattoos and advocate that life style, but that only makes me suspicious of them, I can't do anything until they commit a crime. So feel free to express yourself, and I will continue to express myself and what we stand for. I am always open to hearing how our citizens feel like we can be effective in fighting crime.

After Popehat inquired after it, however, Ruben Santiago was forced to admit being a liar.

Chief Santiago did write those two posts. I believe the original comment was misconstrued. I appreciate you reaching out to CPD.

Chief was trying to say that he puts would-be-criminals on notice — if you commit a crime or plan to commit one, CPD will work hard to investigate and press charges according to the law.

It’s easy for social media posts to be misunderstood. The man who was so-called threatened openly admitted that he was not offended and appreciated the work of CPD.

Notable Replies

  1. xzzy says:

    Well, by the chief's own words they've already locked up every single violent offender.

    There's nothing left to police except thought crime now!

  2. "The man who was so-called threatened openly admitted that he was not offended and appreciated the work of CPD." Was this before or after the police found him?

  3. Why would someone feel threaten if you are not doing anything wrong?

    Truly the Sphinx's Riddle of our times, and what an Oedipus to have solved it! With these immortal words, Clio, the Muse of History, kisses brave Chief Santiago on the brow, claiming him as her own. How lovely, to go down in the annals of iniquity with such dispatch, such conciseness, such agrammatical flourish!

  4. Even by this numbskull sheriff's policy (i.e.: go after people advocating criminal activity), the critic didn't advocate criminal activity - he just advocated SETTING PRIORITIES DIFFERENTLY.

    Someone should tell this sheriff that in a democratic republic that criticism of government officials is not a crime.

  5. How about if you advocate tracking someone down without probable cause, then it's reasonable to believe that you are a power-tripping stalker who should be investigated. And don't be hanging around playgrounds, creep.

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