On April 5, the Corvallis Police Department made a post on their Facebook naming two Corvallis residents after reports were received “of them fighting in public, blocking traffic, or trespassing several times, causing quite a disruption in our community.”
This Facebook post features these individuals’ full names and has pictures of them side by side, stating that due to being low level offenses, the pair were cited rather than jailed.
The post brought on a flurry of public ridicule in the comments section. With nearly 150 comments, one individual even called for them to be put “in public stocks and [left] there for a couple of months,” with others echoing in agreement and offering similar proposals of public shame and punishment.
Not all commenters acted cruelly. Many showed compassion for the pair and shared accounts from interactions they’ve had with them. These accounts divulged a history of mental illness, and concerns were further raised that the post and public shaming were counterproductive to the health and well-being of those cited.
We asked the Corvallis Police Department what the public safety imperative was for this post, as well as what guidelines they have place for the release of the names and photos of suspects. So far, we have received no comment.
By Sam Schultz