GULFPORT, MS - An area police chief is sending a stern message to all social media users tonight After he says a sexual assault and beating was broadcast live on Facebook.
"I wish people would look at just how warped our society has become," said Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania, "We videotape pain and suffering and we share it and we view it over and over."
Papania made the remarks after announcing arrest warrants in what he describes as a crude and despicable sexual and physical assault live streamed on Facebook.
Officers say they received a call about the incident late Tuesday night and responded right away. By Wednesday evening, three people were in custody for the attack on the 23-year-old female victim.
The chief quickly turned his anger from the crime and recording itself, to the almost 50,000 social media users who watched the video, commented on it and shared it.
"Viral videos last just for the moment until somebody moves on to the next stupid video," he said, "There is a victim in this case. It is important that we ensure our criminal justice system protects that victim and seeks proper justice."
Papania wants to see the "dark side of social media" targeted next.
"Now we look at this trash in social media. I mean how hard is it to find a fight video?" he said, "And we record it and we watch it over and over. I think at some point if we want to change our culture, we need to make that criminal."
We asked for social media users thoughts on the chief's comments and found most people agree with him.
He says everyone needs to pitch in to turn society morals around.
"Again, we've got to take a holistic view of why we're here and if we don't like where we are then we need to collectively look at what do we want to do to get away from here," he said.
Police say the investigation continues and charges against people present during the assault are likely to follow.
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