A Georgia cop killer created a media spectacle, when he asked for television cameras to broadcast his surrender so he would not be harmed. However, broadcast television was not the only medium that played a role in his capture on Friday night.
Police agencies and a former University of Georgia football player posted messages for Jamie Hood and contacted him via Facebook, underlining the growing role of social media sites serving law enforcement.
During the search for Hood following the fatal shooting of Athens-Clarke County (Ga.) Police Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian on March 22, agencies turned to the social media site that now has about 600 million active users. Also, Officer Tony Howard was critically wounded, as the two officers approached Hood, who was a carjacking and kidnapping suspect prior to the shooting.
The agency had launched a Facebook page about two weeks prior to the duty death, reports the Augusta Chronicle.
Late last week, the agency posted updates for the community about possible locations of Hood, 33. And on Friday, the agency addressed Hood himself. The post, "Jamie Hood Can Arrange to Turn Himself In by Calling 911," read in part, "Several friends and family members of Jamie Hood have told investigators that Mr. Hood would turn himself in, but he fears that law enforcement will kill him instead of allowing him to turn himself in. This is simply not the case."
Former UGA football standout Bryant Gantt initially got in touch with Hood via Facebook, reports 11Alive. Gantt was present when Hood surrendered.
A Facebook fan page created for the fallen officer had gathered more than 4,000 fans on Monday. And without fail, "fan" pages for Hood also cropped up; however, many of those liking the page joined to post negative comments about Hood. By Monday, the Hood pages had been removed.