Law enforcement reminding people not to share illegal content on social media

Law enforcement reminding people not to share illegal content on social media
Police warn citizens not to share illegal content. Photo courtesy WDAM.

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - The focus has been on social media this week after a video of a sexual assault involving a minor went viral on Facebook. The suspect at the center of the video has been arrested, but police want to make sure people are aware of the laws surrounding sharing illegal content.

Captain Tommy Cox with the Laurel Police Department said if someone shares illegal content with you, contact police.

"The best possible thing to do is to send it to your local police department so they evaluate it further," Cox said.

Cox spoke to WDAM about his relationship with the Mississippi Attorney General's office. They have a division dedicated to handling these types of crimes.

"They've always been very willing to step up and help us. They have a task force," he said. "They have the technical expertise to deal with this type of thing."

Several news stations received the video from concerned viewers looking to do the right thing; however, sharing the video is actually a crime, and you could be charged.

"Whether you're sending it to your local reporter or to your buddy to ask, 'what do you think this is?' You're disseminating that stuff," Cox said. "Just don't put yourself in that situation."

The victim in the case is reportedly safe, but Cox wants people to be aware of the potential damage that sharing the video can have on the victim.

"You don't need that out there," Cox said. "Think about if it was your child, grandchild or niece."