US Police Dept. 'Joke' Facebook Posts About Ebola Meth Leads to Actual Arrest
Showing a sense of levity on an official Facebook page is wise, and it's brought police departments in many parts of the world a lot of positive press, but tone is vitally important. As is avoiding anything which could be regarded as entrapment.

A few different police departments in different states have done it - posting a warning about methamphetamine potentially containing the Ebola virus, and advising users to bring their meth into the station for testing. Ridiculous, right? Well, clearly not enough to stop a few people actually doing, and one subsequently being arrested for drug possession.

The woman in question was detained in Granite Shoals, Texas, after their police department's post was shared thousands of times. They maintain that it was all in good fun, and that they had never expected or intended to arrest anyone, but from an outside perspective it certainly looks like a 'sting' operation.

Other departments were a bit more forthcoming about the potential of these posts beyond humor, with one police chief in Grayson, Louisiana mentioning that people had called them to ask, allowing them to open up a dialogue about the real risks of methamphetamine use.

That I can understand, but the treatment of the woman caught in Granite Shoals is almost inexcusable. She's currently being held on a $5,000 bond, having been caught with a gram of the substance. I say caught, I mean voluntarily went to police station and presented, due to health concerns and faith that she would be treated with amnesty. After she was detained, the department proceeded to band her name all over their Facebook page, branding her the 'winner of the Facebook post challenge'.

It's this kind of demeaning treatment that serves to perpetuate addiction and drug use. If the police are going to openly mock people who use drugs, and treat them like idiots, how can they expect people who are really struggling with addiction to ever come forward, to anyone?

Beyond that, Ebola is no laughing matter, and during the 2014/15 outbreak caused almost worldwide health concerns. Something tells me that police were keen to par this off as a joke because they knew that citing it as a legitimate operation would reflect badly on them, preferring instead to characterise the arrest as a happy accident.

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