Social media sites and messaging services, including Snapchat, are being used to organize looting and more, according to various officials…
In the aftermath of the what began as peaceful protests, groups quickly digressed
into rioting and looting. Many police forces throughout the USA have come forward to
state that much of the looting has been organized and coordinated.
Snapchat Used to Coordinate Looting Effort, Officials Assert
Law enforcement allege secret chats utilizing platforms such as Snapchat were used to coordinate efforts for targets as well as to circumvent law enforcement officials. According to Chief Steve Mylett of the Bellevue, Washington police force, “We didn’t know how much … and how violent and well organized they were.”
He is not alone as officials ranging from mayors, to governors to high ranking police officials have come forward to assert that the looting is organized and sophisticated to a point that is above and beyond random circumstance or a mere byproduct of peaceful protests.
Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota, whose state is considered ground zero for the protests, has also asserted that the organised groups which are looting are monitoring police activity and actively subverting law enforcement utilizing secret chat features in apps such as Snapchat.
Police Chief Will Smith of the Richmond, Virginia police department stated in a press conference that, “we have people from across the country who have traveled many states to be here” and the police “know that this is an organized effort.”
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan claimed that 65 percent of the people arrested over the weekend on charges ranging from looting, to vandalism, to rioting were from out of state and again pointed to organization at a sophisticated level utilizing apps such as Snapchat and Facebook to coordinate looting efforts as well as efforts to subvert police officials.
This will lead to a greater issue going forward as to whether or not to protect the privacy of citizens or to allow for greater surveillance.