Thursday, December 21, 2006

Busted by You Tube?

Law enforcement seems to have found a new tool to fight crime, the internet phenomenon that has become You Tube.

Police in Hamilton, Ontario used the video web portal to post a clip of security film from a Hamilton nightclub, which featured a clip of a man wearing a hat that was found at the scene of a murder after a hip hop concert at the venue.

The clip which shows that man and a second man going through a security line up was released in the hope that someone would recognize the two and give investigators a line on how to contact them. By this morning it is reported that it was viewed over 30,000 times, by the YouTube generation it has since been taken down by the police service.

While up on the site it featured the following descriptive blurb; Police are asking for the public's assistance in identifying two men seen attending the Sean Price concert at Club 77, Hamilton Ontario on Nov. 17th, 2006. This video shows the two males arriving at 11:14p.m. and are described as 1) male white, wearing a white horizontal striped shirt and a black/white baseball hat with the word "JOKER" on the front and 2) male white, short hair, wearing a shirt with the word "ROCAWEAR" on the front and "99" on the back. Anyone with information please call Detective Sergeant Jorge Lasso at 905-546-2458 or Call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

It’s not known if the two were considered suspects or witnesses to the crime, but they seemed to be the focus of the investigation. It marked the first time that the Hamilton police have used the video uploading site to further an investigation and that use seemed to split the YouTubers that viewed the one minute and twelve second clip.

Earlier today, Hamilton police announced that a suspect had been charged in the death of 22-year-old Ryan Milner of Grimsby, Ontario and a friend of his who did not die of his injuries. The two were attacked in the early hours of November 17th after attending a hip hop concert at the nightclub.

Police didn’t state whether the arrest was directly related to the YouTube posting or through more traditional methods of investigation. In the end, the guy just walked into police headquarters and turned himself in, which tends to make a case easier to investigate.

However, it would seem that the web portal best known for stupid human tricks, music videos and other strange and wonderful things will now be enlisted in the fight against crime.

We can anticipate the idea to be featured on Law and Order shortly, the NBC show is always quick to catch onto the unusual twists in crime fighting and this certainly is one that would find a home on commercial television.

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