Barricade suspect live-streams police negotiating his surrender for arrest

“Every individual around the country is now an instant broadcast station,” said Robert J. Louden, a retired commander of the New York Police Department’s tactical division and a criminal justice professor at Georgian Court University in New Jersey.

(Screen grab from Twitter) – Frank James MacArthur describes himself as an independent urban combat correspondent and journalist contributor on his @BaltoSpectator Twitter page.

He calls himself an “urban combat correspondent”: He hops from one Baltimore crime scene to another in a beat-up taxi, using a blog and social media to discuss crime and police misconduct that he claims the mainstream media ignore.

Lately, he had complained that the cops were out to get him, and threatened on Twitter to kill any who tried. Over the weekend, they did come for him, serving an arrest warrant on a probation violation connected to an old gun conviction. As promised, Frank James MacArthur did not go quietly.

As heavily armed tactical officers massed outside his North Baltimore home Saturday night, MacArthur streamed his hours-long telephone conversation with police negotiator Lt. Jason Yerg live over the Internet.

It’s unclear how many people listened in, but the five-hour standoff nevertheless marked an apparently unprecedented development in the interaction of social media, digital technology and law enforcement, who are still adjusting to a world in which their actions are constantly photographed, videotaped and debated online.


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