November 2, 2013 12:26 pm -

santiagoIt looks to me as if Interim Columbia (South Carolina) Police Chief Ruben Santiago needs to learn a few things about something we love to refer to around here as the First Amendment:

A South Carolina police chief threatened a resident with possible arrest Thursday for making pro-legalization comments about marijuana in a Facebook post about a drug suspect’s arrest.

Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago announced on the Facebook page for the Columbia Police Department that officers had seized about $40,000 in marijuana from an apartment during a drug investigation.

But at least one person who follows the department’s social media page was less than thrilled, reported blogger Ken White at Popehat.

The blog posted a screen capture of a comment made by Facebook user Brandon Whitmer, who said, “maybe (police) should arrest the people shooting people in 5 points instead of worrying about a stoner that’s not bothering anyone. It’ll be legal here one day anyway.”

Someone with login credentials for the Columbia Police Department replied to Whitmer, saying, “(W)e have arrested all of 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.”

That post was quickly deleted, the blog reported, but it was saved via screen capture by multiple Facebook users.

The department’s interim chief then identified himself in a follow-up comment made using the department’s account and said he’d made the post threatening Whitmer with possible arrest and blamed a subordinate for deleting it.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.