Cops shut Facebook page naming accused cat killers
I'm not sure which is the bigger story here--that the kids may have microwaved a cat, or that the police shut down a Facebook webpage. Take your pick.
Edmonton - Four teens charged with killing a cat in a microwave oven during a house break-in in Camrose, Alta., were named recently on the popular Internet website Facebook, along with postings that included threats of violence against them.
The Facebook webpage that published the teens' names, a violation of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has been shut down by the Camrose city police, said Sgt. Tony Thomsen.
The person who originally posted the names wrote, "They will all get their faces smashed in by January 6th."
By publishing the names outside court, the writer on Facebook was breaking the law and potentially jeopardizing the teens' rights to a fair trial.
One Facebook poster wrote: "You might have just caused them to walk free. ... The last thing I want is a mistrial that could have been prevented."
Arthur Schafer, director of the University of Manitoba's centre of professional and applied ethics, said, "Publishing of the names together with threats is itself bordering on shameful and is as worrying for society as the original act.
"We know they have been charged, we don't know whether they're guilty."
The three 15-year-olds and the 13-year-old who have been charged in connection with the break-in and the cat's death are scheduled to appear in Camrose youth court Feb. 7.