Michigan cops tracking Flint water critics on social media and sharing data with embattled governor
Confronted with information found in emails from Gov. Rick Snyder, as spokesperson for the Michigan State Police admitted her agency is monitoring social media and looking at comments about the Flint water crisis in search of threats.
According to MLive, a State Police senior intelligence analyst highlighted a possible threatening statement following a Detroit Free Press article regarding Flint’s water woes that has roiled the Snyder administration with calls for the governor’s prosecution.
“It’s time for civil unrest. Burn down the Governor mansion, elimionate (sic) the capitol where the legislators RE-INSTATED the emergency dictator law after the PEOPLE voted it down, and tell the Mich (sic) State Police if they use military force, we will return with same,” read the alarming comment posted on Facebook.
According to authorities the comment was traced back to a man who was on probation as a result of his involvement in an armed standoff with police in April 2015, after six other counts, including threats of terrorism, were dismissed in that case.
“In the interest of protecting our residents, the MSP monitors any incidents that have the potential to result in criminal activity and/or violence,” Michigan State Police spokesperson Shanon Banner explained.
According to Banner, the state maintains analysts at an MSP Intelligence Operations Center where they monitor Facebook and Twitter looking for threats.
A spokesperson for the governor didn’t explain why state police were sharing the information with the Snyder, saying the governor’s office doesn’t “comment on any work or actions by the State Police regarding security issues.”