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/ March 11, 2009
Cop Beats Up Man, Posts on MySpace, Gets Caught

They call me bruce” alt=”” width=”200″ height=”162″ />Anything you Tweet or Sykpe can be used against you in the court law! So learned Officer Vaughan Ettienne, who arrested a man for gun possession a few weeks prior. Except the defense found things Ettienne said online and turned them against him, so the debate has now become about the officer’s credibility instead of the defendant’s supposed crime. The defense now argues that Ettienne beat down Gary Waters (the man on trial) and planted a gun on him afterward.

What exactly did Officer Ettienne say?

“A few weeks ago, he posted a description of his mood on a MySpace account. “Devious,” he wrote.

Scandalous! How else did Ettienne sully his good name?

“Then [defense lawyer] Mr. Lesher tracked down comments Officer Ettienne had made on the Internet about video clips of arrests. An officer should not have punched a handcuffed man, Officer Ettienne wrote. “If he wanted to tune him up some, he should have delayed cuffing him.” He added: “If you were going to hit a cuffed suspect, at least get your money’s worth ’cause now he’s going to get disciplined for a relatively light punch.”

We could go on and on about the nature of Internet self-censorship and the murky nature of Internet justice, but let’s cut to the chase: if you’re a cop, you probably shouldn’t be advising ways to assault suspects without punishment. And you especially shouldn’t be making such comments during a trial in which the defense is trying to paint you as an enraged, physically abusive cop.

“I feel it’s partially my fault,” Ettienne realizes. MySpace status: duh.