Homicide Cop’s Callous Tweets and the Power of Social Media

“Guess where I’m at??? It never ends”

That’s what @Lamudercop tweeted in the early morning on October 11th. Sal La Barbera, according to his google and twitter profiles, is a supervisor for the Criminal Gang/Homicide Division. Hes been with LAPD for 30 years, 24 of those with CGHD and is the current Squad Leader of FBI/LAPD SOS ll Homicide Task Force. A New York transplant, he’s also provided consulting to writers and film makers throughout Hollywood and appears on television regularly.

Everyone knows the life of a murder cop is tough, and no one expects them to be cuddly, but I’m baffled as to why he would tweet a picture of a recently deceased person lying on the street and not show even a shred of compassion for the person or their family. On the job, cynicism is to be expected, but the world of social media changes things as it becomes public.

From reading the twitter timeline, the picture is of the corpse of a murder victim somewhere near 106th and Wilmington. When I saw the picture and the caption La Barbera wrote, the first thing that came into my mind was “fuck the police”. Actually, “FUCK DA MUTHA FUCKING POLICE!!!” is probably more accurate.

It’s one thing for media to ignore a death in a poor neighborhood and spend 30 minutes on the Michael Jackson trial, they’re idiotic like that and we don’t pay their salaries. But when an officer, no less a supervisor with 30 years on the force uses twitter to make light of someone’s tragedy, it makes me angry. It’s not just the coldness, it’s the double standard. You would never see a cop post shit like that on the Seal Beach massacre because people would be all over them and someone would get fired, reassigned, or reprimanded within days.

Social media is a two way street and can be a powerful thing when used correctly. The detective can tweet all the pics of food, friends and the things on the job he sees as he pleases, but in my opinion this crosses the line. It’s disrespectful to the community he’s supposed to be “protecting and serving”. I’m pretty sure that Sal or someone over at the LAPD is going see this and possibly take some sort of action against me. Maybe I’ll end up as one of his tweets. Who knows, but you can be sure I’ll tweet that shit right back. And that’s the power of social media.

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Comments (14) to “Homicide Cop’s Callous Tweets and the Power of Social Media”

  1. I get it. If you put it out there, it can be criticized. But reading over all of his tweets, he doesn’t seem like a bad guy. Just a guy whose seen a shitload of murders.

  2. I don’t see the issue. You people in the media and us citizens wax about the AWESOME power of technology and video. It’s something YOU are goping to have to embrace. These cops see the worst there is, and social media is the now and the future. I guess his tweet disrupted your Utopian view of the world and now you’re forced to see a small sample of what he sees. I say good for him for sharing. It isn’t like he tweeted grotesque photos, this is not anything I haven’t seen on the pages of the LA Times.

    A police officer with 30 plus years of service embracing technology like this… I say he’s an outstanding professional for his methods and evolving with the times.

  3. Isee nothing disrespectful in the tweetpic. It is a shot of a crime scene, and the words sound of a deep frustration.

    I am neither pro- or anti-cop, I praise or criticize as required by the situation. From the tone and words of this author, I wonder if the same can be said of him?

    I also have a bit of a problem with how people have taken to snapping screenshots of tweets and then using them to rant against the content that they disagree with. The moment the screenshot is taken and the story is removed from the stream, the real context is lost.

    People should learn to use Twitter more responsibly and intelligently, but that goes for both writers and readers.

  4. Yeah I would agree with the peeps that commented after me. But I would bet the author, like a lot of people in poor neighborhoods in LA, has had a lot of bad encounters with the police and few good ones. I think the author took the comments of the cop the wrong way because of his background with the police. I would like to see the officer and the author get together and chat. Might change a few minds.

  5. sounds like you have your head in your ass..maybe people need to see more of this to wake up and understand why ‘it never ends’.

  6. “It’s one thing for media to ignore a death in a poor neighborhood and spend 30 minutes on the Michael Jackson trial, they’re idiotic like that and we don’t pay their salaries.”

    That line shows that the author has no understanding of how TV news works. TV news, like any other show, is wholly based on ratings. If you don’t get ratings, even in news, you are replaced. People watch the news shows that give them the information they want. Overwhelmingly America has spoken, we want celebrity news and don’t want to hear about murders in poor inner-city neighborhoods.

    Also, the author sucks.

  7. Considering the stuff Rampart and other LAPD officers have been involved with, callous tweets is not a big deal. I do understand the reaction by El Random Hero but I just think there are bigger fish to fry.

  8. While we hope police men handle the facts of the case and find the guilty we rarely see them as something other than bullies or heroes.

    You say it’s a media ignores the deaths of the poor. This cop didn’t.

    You talk about the power of social media. He used that. There is also a responsibility. Your was not to jump to conclusions. His was to use a forum with more depth than twitter. As far as what he said. There was nothing disrespectful.

    As far as I can see he from a stream of tweets he is tired of seeing people murdered. He is tired of no one caring. He is dealing with death on a day to day basis.

    For you it’s a “story” for him it’s a way of life. For both of you the murders and violence of a community needs end.

  9. I don’t think it makes you look any better by re-posting the picture on your blog. Show some respect to the family of the victim. Sheesh!

  10. I’m more offended by your choice of verbiage. Btw, Einstein, it’s spelled, “deceased”. You make no real point here other than to show you are an hypocrite for posting the same exact pic, not just once but TWICE for no other reason than to go on a vie for a 30 second nonsensical typed out ranting spree. Who are you really mad at here? Sal, for being a highly respected employed homicide detective or yourself for having much spare time?

  11. The picture is not offensive and since the media refuses to do their job and cover actual news its probably a good thing to get first hand accounts of crime-scenes.

    I do find is comments cold and lacking compassion, but i would expect this from someone who deals with murder for a living. His captions are probably a poor attempt of humor.

  12. La taco… that says it all. I bet you have no problem playing grand theft auto or any other game where there is senseless violence, rap, and robbery. right taco?

    How is this picture any different than what you see on the news? typical white sheet with blood. Hey taco boy, stop smoking the weed and get a job. Poor copper is going get in trouble for keeping his 3000 plus followers on twitter informed. No more tweets for him and less info for the public.

    Why can’t the cop tweet, when your can tweet after every burp and fart you have?

  13. I often notice there is a real disconnect the way the police are looked at by different groups. those in middle class places see the cops as their friends who protect them. they probably think it’s OK for this cop to comment on the recent dead and send their pictures out to the world to see. poor people have usually not seen the good the police can do, and let’s be honest it’s true that if this was a middle class death being tweeted by a cop, his family would be upset and so would all the middle class people who think it’s ok to tweet out the death of a poor person. class rules everything around me.

  14. I’m glad he did this. We need to start having graphic PSAs in this country to stop stupid people from doing stupid sh!t