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Social Media Helps Law Enforcement

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DUNCAN, Okla._

World wide, dozens of disturbing images and videos of Chris Lane's three accused killers continue to stream the web. Many of them taken from James Edwards' and Chancey Luna's personal Facebook and Twitter feeds where the two were depicted throwing gang signs and toting guns.

But most concerning and maybe incriminating, were the comments the two posted just three days before the shooting.  Edwards, the youngest of the three, tweeted that "He and his friends were ready to take some lives and left everything for the public to see. "

Police said their actions weren't brazen. They said public social media sites had become so integrated in some peoples lives including those of criminals, many didn't think twice about what it was they posted and left open for the public's eyes to see, often times incriminating themselves without even knowing it.

Police said because of that, social media helped law enforcement agencies across the world put criminals where they belonged. By just entering a couple of key words into a search engine, anyone armed with a computer can find images of James Edwards and Chancy Luna that they uploaded themselves and may soon come to regret.

"When they do something then the whole world sees what they've posted on these sites," said Duncan Police Captain Jay Evans.

Evans said in turn, social networking sites often serve as an evidence vault for police.

"They don't realize there are sites that keep every tweet, they keep every post, every comment no matter where they make it throughout the web," said Evans.

Helping them build criminal profiles while also tracking their accomplices.

"I would check everything you posted, what you like to do, everything about your life you posted online." "A lot of times they will list every associate they have," said Evans.

Evans has been in law enforcement for 30 plus years, but he said it wasn't until the last few years that the manner of collecting evidence went viral.

"I think it's a generational thing, especially with the younger kids and they've grown up with their cell phones and can get on social media via their cell phones very early," said Evans.

Evans said while social networking sites are helping law enforcement, there was also a flip side. He said many times there was so many threatening posts and comments made, that there was just not enough people in the world to police it.

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