Zika

Louisiana Police Spread Fake News About Zika-Infected Meth, Then Admit They Made It up for 'Attention'

The officer who cooked up the story adds that he collects "a lot of great (and incredibly raw) intelligence" by reading comment threads.

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A Louisiana police department issued a Facebook post Saturday declaring that some of the region's methamphetamine had been infected with the Zika virus. If you're wondering how that's even possible, you're not crazy: It isn't. The cops made it up.

"WARNING," blared the post from the Harahan Police Department. "If you have recently purchased meth in any area of Louisiana it may be contaminated with the Zika Virus." It then encouraged meth users to bring their drugs to the police for free testing or to ask for a home visit from the cops:

It is not in fact possible for meth to be contaminated with Zika. Of course, a meth user with the virus could hypothetically transmit it by sharing a needle. But that's not because the drug itself is contaminated; it's because the sick person's blood carries the virus.

In short, the post was untrue. Chief Tim Walker has admitted as much to The New Orleans Advocate, explaining that Officer Keith Moody, who wrote it, wanted it to be "attention-getting."

"There is an opioid and meth problem. It's all over the country," Walker adds.

It seems they succeeded, with the post garnering more than 5,600 shares as of Monday afternoon. Why police thought spreading fake news on social media was the best way to bring attention to an issue remains unclear.

The needless fearmongering bothers Harahan's outgoing mayor, Tina Miceli. "I am concerned about the information that is disseminated to the community and our surrounding communities, and how they are getting their information," she tells the Advocate. "I don't want residents afraid without having information."

But Tim Baudier, who will take over as mayor tomorrow, says "he got the joke," according to the Advocate

The post paid dividends for the cops in another way. "Although the post was originally a lighthearted attempt at humor, a lot of great (and incredibly raw) intelligence can be cultivated from the comments," Moody tells ABC News. "There is a lot of great information obtained by reading threads," he adds, declaring that "criminals have a tendency to say/do some pretty incriminating behavior when given the opportunity to 'blow off.'"

It's not clear if the apparent attempt to troll the comments section for lawbreakers worked. But no one appears to have taken the department up on its offer of free meth testing.

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  1. Oh man this is brilliant. Hats off. Kudos. I’m not worthy.

  2. So in that other other thread I made the judgementless observation that sparky seems to constantly be scolding people, and the not very bright Fagamammon proved he doesn’t know the difference between scolding someone and observing thwir behavior.

    It was deeply embarassing for both the scold, sparky, and the idiot, fagamammon.

    1. Of course, you are shameless and nothing embarrasses you.

      1. Your lack of intelligence embarasses me vicariously.

  3. How can you tell when a cop is lying? Their lips are moving.

    If the police say the sun rises in the east I’d triple check before I believed them.

    1. “The needless fearmongering bothers Harahan’s outgoing mayor”

      It bothers me more that government employees are lying to the public. It seems the source of most all of the fake news are from lying government officials who show government officials shouldn’t be trusted, and neither should any media sourcing stories from anonymous government officials, who should be outed by any self-respecting journalist or MSM company that wants a reputation for honesty and truth.

      Note you never hear stories of the MSM outing anonymous sources that have proven to be liars, because they want more stories to publish, that are all mainly anti-Trump. It just shows the government establishment doesn’t like Trump, and are willing to be dishonest for their own benefit. And the MSM goes along with it.

  4. And then cops wonder why no one trusts them.

    They want “attention”? I’d say disbanding the police department, making all officers thereof permanently ineligible for POST certification, then 180 days in GenPop should be sufficient “attention” to the issue.

  5. Keith Richards, as is customary, had it right: ‘I’ve never had a problem with drugs. I’ve sometimes had problems with the police.’

    Drug warriors are reprehensible people. Authoritarian, prudish, stale-thinking, usually poorly educated. The sooner they are compelled to try to arrange decent livelihoods, the better.

    1. This must be the troll account created to troll the troll.

      Because everyone knows the good reverend would support the state cracking down on the illiterates that use drugs in defiance of the diktats of their betters.

      1. Why should illiterates not be free to use recreational drugs?

        1. Because then they’re not sufficiently productive to support the state.

  6. They could at least have said it was an elaborate sting operation to get meth off the street, arrest dealers, and save the children.

    1. *sigh*

      Yeah, they could have. But the people who come up with these ‘clever’ schemes are never as clever and quick-thinking as they think they are and they’re kind of lazy so running through scenarios and creating options to deal with those scenarios is not something they do beforehand (ie, prepare a plausible cover story for their stupidity) nor are they able to think quickly on their feet to come up with one on the fly.

      They really are as dumb as the people they are trying to scam.

  7. Who do they think they are, The Partnership For A Truth-Free America?

  8. The local police department put out a bunch of posters in the area announcing a “no questions asked” program. The idea was that if you had a drug addiction problem you could show up and they would help find a treatment program for you with no legal charges or other questions asked.

    They may have been sincere but I doubt they got many responses.

    1. There’d be no reason to respond.

      If you think you have a drug problem finding resources to deal with it isn’t hard. If you don’t think you have one you’re not going to go ask for help.

      1. No addict would think it wasn’t a setup. Unless drug laws would go the Portugal route, addicts can’t be sure if such an offer was a trap to fill up the many private prisons in Louisiana. Fun fact: many are owned by the sheriffs.

  9. But Tim Baudier, who will take over as mayor tomorrow, says “he got the joke,” according to the Advocate

    They’re going to rethink how they use their social media presence when they finally get to the end of the story of the boy who cried wolf.

  10. Your credit cards may be infected with the Zika virus – mail them to me and I’ll test them for the Zika virus for free. Is that about the level of this “fake news”?

  11. You know, if they wanted attention, they could have just shot an unarmed person in the back in “self-defense”.

  12. Still not as good as the Miami bath salts zombie story though.

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  14. I bet at least one meth head was dumb enough to fall for it.

  15. The false “brown acid” alert is an interesting approach. However, they forget an important detail…methheads don’t care.

  16. I have been to their city council meetings. Tim Walker the chief is incompetent! They had a good mayor in Tina Micelli but they voted her out because they would prefer to a dysfunctional and corrupt municipality. If it were up to me I would dissolve Harahan and let the parish government take it over.

    1. It really needs to just do that. I don’t think the new retirement development will keep their finances afloat.

  17. I’m familiar with the area, having spent some years there. It’s a suburb of New Orleans. It’s one of the few towns in the Parish that has a mayor. They used to have a de facto mayor for life but that changed. the government has been struggling fiscally and fighting to stay incorporated. Cops like to write a ton of tickets to make up for the windfall. They also like to pull over anyone for “DWB.” On the flip side, they do keep it safe. Two white trash locals harrassed me verbally at a gas station when I was a teen, cops arrested them. I have family that live there, they love it.

  18. One of the reasons I voted for Reagan was a Reason cover on “The Drug LAW Problem” with Ronnie’s face on it. Then when the entire economy collapsed in a paroxysm of Just Say Nyet prohibitionism, I was at least glad to voted Libertarian ever since. But this article harks back to the AIDS epidemic that replaced the hepatitis epidemic in ALL American dirty-needle-law cities AND most major Soviet cities. It was almost as if the “Warriors for Allah” had figured out a way to exploit the invasion of Afghanistan by TWO infidel armies by slipping them both some HIV virus-spiked smack. So Joe, why not reassuringly assert that THAT is impossible?

  19. Fake news is put out to be taken literally.

    **WARNING: *** If you have recently purchased meth in any area of Louisiana it may be contaminated with the Zika Virus. Please bring all of it to your local Police Department and they will test it for free. If you’re not comfortable coming to us, an officer will be glad to come to you and test your Meth in the privacy of your home. Please spread the word! We’re available 24/7/365. Be Safe! ~Ofc Moody

    Sounds to me like a joke. Like it was intended to be a joke.

  20. Many of the Facebook comments for Officer Moody’s post refer to idiots who might fall for the trap. The idiots are at the police department. Every police department in the country should be thinking this New Year about how to restore trust between their department, and the people in their community. I don’t think this jokey form of entrapment will do it.

  21. This particular department is rife with corruption. Walker, the, “Chief,” & his lackey, “Officer,” Moody–who is a Reserve Officer & supposedly has 40+ years of law enforcement experience &, supposedly is a retired MP (Marines) yet has, suspiciously, never been hired by any police department– are joined at the hip, specifically through the home mortgage Walker loaned Moody the money for. Walker owns Moody. Moody is his personal driver, gas pumper, sign waver, fb page monitor, & political bully. The political machine joined forces to oust Mayor Miceli (who was truly for the people & not a puppet for the good ole boys) because she was checking & balancing Walker too much for his & his cronies comfort. Too bad, we’re still on it. Walker is supposed to be rewarding Moody with a $50,000+ job as Asst. Chief. We’re trying to expose the corruption (much more than I’ve mentioned here) but the majority of the people in this miserable city don’t care & we’re having a hard time finding a reporter who’ll dig with us & help expose.
    What happened to Americans?

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