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As the Sheriff of Jefferson County and the custodian of the W.C. "Dub" Brassell Adult Detention Center (DBDC), I am compelled to address a grave incident that occurred today involving the misuse of social media to spread false information. In our digital age, the power of social media is undeniable. It connects us, informs us, and in many ways, enriches our lives. However, this powerful tool can also be misused, spreading misinformation quickly and widely.

An individual, whose name will remain undisclosed to avoid providing the notoriety they seek, falsely broadcasted on Facebook Live that a detainee had been stabbed twelve times at DBDC. This act was designed solely to attract attention and monetize their social media presence.

This irresponsible and deceptive broadcast led to a flood of calls from concerned citizens to DBDC, significantly disrupting our operations and causing undue panic among the public, our staff, and the detainees under our care. This disruption to our safety protocols and the induced panic are unacceptable and were the direct result of this false report.

It is essential to highlight that this is not the first instance of this individual propagating false alarms. Their actions fall squarely under the violations outlined in Arkansas Code Annotated A.C.A. § 5-71-210, which makes it unlawful for anyone to intentionally spread a false report of an emergency, knowing it could prompt emergency response, incite fear, or lead to evacuations.

In response to this incident and in accordance with the law, I have directed our Criminal Investigation Division to conduct a thorough investigation. The findings will be forwarded to the 11th Judicial West Prosecuting Attorney's Office for a review for the formal filing of charges and criminal prosecution.

Furthermore, this event underscores the critical need for awareness regarding the information we share and consume on social media. Individuals who use these platforms to spread misinformation for personal gain compromise public safety and trust. I urge everyone to critically evaluate the sources of the information they encounter online and to be skeptical of sensational claims designed to provoke emotional responses.

Let us all commit to maintaining the integrity of information on our social media feeds and to supporting our community's safety by preventing the spread of false information.

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Lafayette Woods, Jr.