PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia police say someone posted false information on Facebook identifying a city man as the Kensington Strangler. Now, police want to get the word out to protect the man from vigilante justice.
Police Lieutenant Ray Evers says police found out about the Facebook posting mid-Monday morning. The fan page had a photo of a man and his address.
“This fan page was saying this man was the Kensington Strangler. Looking at this picture, we notified Homicide and Special Victims and they said, no this male is not a subject in this investigation and is not wanted in this investigation.”
Evers says the man was at his mother’s home and people were gathering outside, so he called police to tell them it wasn’t him. The man was then escorted by 25th District Police to Special Victims where he was interviewed, and cleared, and then he was taken to Homicide.
“We utilized our own Facebook page, and it was our duty to say that this male was not wanted, was not a subject of our investigation.”
Evers says Facebook is a social network; it is not a fact checking site, and this can be damaging to innocent people.
“This is an instance — unfortunately there was not a vetting process — and somebody’s photo was put up there and it was the wrong person.”
Police do not know who posted the photo but it has been taken down. If that individual is identified, charges could be pending.
Reported by Kim Glovas, KYW Newsradio