US Teenager Was Convicted Using Instagram Photos as Evidence

Police saw he posted pictures of himself with a gun.

Late last month, an appeals court in California affirmed a firearms conviction that used Instagram photos as evidence. The underage teenager was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, Business Insider reports.

The defendant, a minor whose Instagram account was named “40glock,” had posted pictures of himself with a gun tucked into his waistband in 2013. Police used these images as the basis to perform a probation search of his house, which led to his conviction.

The following appears in the court’s ruling:
“San Francisco Police Officers Dave Johnson and Eduard Ochoa testified that they were on routine patrol on October 21, 2013. Throughout that day, Officer Ochoa scanned Instagram, a social media website, looking for postings.”

A San Francisco Police Department spokesperson told Business Insider that their officers may use all social media sites during the course of their investigations. The spokesperson also revealed that certain officers can be designated by their unit as the “Instagram officer” or “Facebook officer” — though these aren’t formal titles.

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