Indianapolis Police Solve Murder With Only Facebook Live Evidence
Facebook recently released it’s ‘Live’ feature, an option to Broadcast a live video feed from a mobile device throughout their network, and it has taken the world by storm in many different ways. Besides providing new avenues for people to experience events attended by others, the personal broadcasting platform has been involved in several controversial and violent affairs. One of the first major events was a man live streaming that fell victim to a fatal drive-by shooting. in Chicago, A shooting of a 2 year-old boy was streamed on Facebook Live, also the notorious kidnapping of a white man which was mockingly given the name “#BLMKidnapping” also came to light through Facebook Live. A quick google of the terms “Facebook Live” combined with “Shooting” and/or “Fight” shows that FB Live may have even replaced WordStarHipHop as the leader in documenting and celebrating ignorance within the Urban Community.
A recent murder that has been grabbing headlines in Indianapolis may have just taken this to the next level. On January 29th Wilbur Morton was shot and killed attending his own birthday celebration, at the Downtown Indianapolis Night Club “Bu Da Lounge”. The shooting stemmed from an altercation that involved several females fighting in the streets outside the club during closing-time, which was also captured on Facebook Live. Morton, also known as “Chief”, was a beloved member in his area, and the circumstances around his death caused a uproar around the local communities involved.
Indianapolis Police recently announced that they had made an arrest in the case, taking into custody 29 year old Dontae “Lamar” Davis, for murder and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon in connection with the fatal shooting. Besides Davis’s status as being a “Facebook Celebrity” for his popular social media postings and large following, he was also a prominent member in the local club scene and many were shocked by the news.
Perhaps even more shocking, is the fact that Police have made this arrest using no other evidence but that provided by people who live-streamed the altercation through Facebook Live. In an article by the Indianapolis Star, IMPD revealed that despite the lack of security footage of the shooting, they had gathered enough information entirely from people who uploaded the video to the social media service.
Detectives were unable to obtain security camera footage, but did obtain a recording of a Facebook Live video that depicted the shooting. Police said the video shows a man, later identified as Davis, pull what appeared to be a chrome firearm from his waist. He ran out of view before the gunshot rang out.
Detectives then found another video, also recorded on Facebook Live, of several women fighting before the shooting, according to court documents. In that video, police said Morton, the victim, approached Davis before the camera panned to another view. Moments later, the camera returned to the two men, police said, and Davis can be seen stumbling backward and looking west down Market Street.
Davis was taken into custody at a Casino in rural Indiana, and is considered innocent until proven guilty. What has been proven however, is the general willingness that the Black Community has to live-stream these heinous acts to the world (even at times where it is completely unknown how quickly the events could escalate, and how deadly). As the rise of Social-Media continues, one can only assume that law enforcement officials feel a sense of relief that the communities are making their jobs that much easier.