During the standoff between Korryn Gaines and the Baltimore Police Department on Monday, officers took the unusual step of contacting Facebook and having the social media company temporarily suspend her account while negotiations were taking place.

This has produced a stunning backlash, with some going as far as to accuse Facebook of helping “Baltimore police kill” the young woman:

That’s disgusting, but the real reason the cops asked Facebook to pull the plug is even worse. According to authorities, Facebook users were encouraging Gaines to not surrender peacefully!

That’s right, as the negotiators were trying to do everything they could to make sure Gaines — who was holding a shotgun — and her little boy were safe, jackasses on social media were hoping for a bloodbath. Well, they go their wish.

From the Baltimore County Police Department (emphasis ours):

Social Media Accounts

On-scene command staff filed a request with Facebook during the barricade to deactivate Gaines’ Facebook and Instagram accounts in order to preserve the integrity of negotiations with her and for the safety of Gaines, her child and officers. Gaines was posting video of the operation, and followers were encouraging her not to comply with negotiators’ requests that she surrender peacefully. This was a serious concern; successful negotiations often depend on the negotiators’ ability to converse directly with the subject, without interference or distraction during extremely volatile conditions.

The content on Gaines’ social media accounts has not been deleted. BCoPD has filed a request with Facebook to preserve this content as evidence. A search warrant will be obtained to obtain these records.

Law enforcement officials do not have the ability or authority to deactivate social media accounts on their own. Facebook maintains a law enforcement portal through which police request assistance. This portal includes an “exigency” option for emergency situations like the one yesterday. BCoPD applied for the exigency deactivation because of a barricade situation involving an armed subject with a child.

Facebook evaluates law enforcement requests and determines what action will be taken. It took nearly an hour after BCoPD contacted Facebook for Gaines’ accounts to be taken off line.

Facebook users have blood on their hands, not the company!

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Related:

Shaun King posts videos from #KorrynGaines’ social media accounts, but they don’t show what he says they show