A fugitive struck an unusual deal with a police department in Connecticut, United States: he agreed to surrender if his wanted poster on Facebook gets 15,000 likes.
The agreement has sparked controversy, with at least one criminal expert calling it unethical.
Jose Simms, 29, who is believed to be in New York, is being sought as a fugitive after failing to appear in court on charges that range from breach of peace to risk of injury to a child.
Police Lt. Brett Johnson posted on the department’s Facebook page Wednesday that Sims had contacted him through the social media site and agreed to turn himself in if his wanted post got enough likes.
Johnson said he negotiated Simms down from 20,000 likes to 15,000 likes.
“Then again, if you know where either of these guys are, you could always let us know that too, it’d save everyone from the suspense of the 15K,” Johnson wrote.
Maki Haberfeld, an expert in police ethics and procedure at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, criticised the deal as unethical.
“This is 100% manipulation,” she said. “And for police, it’s not an ethical thing to do.”
“It turns this into a joke,” Haberfeld continued. “People will start looking at these various violations of law as a game.”