Sheriff blames social media for escalating situation
A Mahopac man surrendered to police on Nov. 23 after a seven-hour standoff during which Instagram users encouraged him not to surrender.
Police said that after a Carmel officer responded to an earlier report of a domestic dispute, Alexander Booth, 28, barricaded himself inside his residence. Booth livestreamed on Instagram during the standoff, claiming officers were attempting to confiscate his weapons and using terms common among the far-right such as boogaloo, for civil war, and red coats, for police officers who enforce gun laws.
Putnam County Sheriff Robert Langley Jr. said Booth’s claim that officers were responding to a court order to confiscate his weapons was incorrect. Nevertheless, he said, outraged gun-rights activists from around the country tied up his agency’s phone lines for hours. “Social-media participants created a secondary crisis situation in the midst of our response,” he said in a statement.
Police said they did not recover any weapons or ammunition from the home.
HOW WE REPORT
The Current is a member of The Trust Project, a consortium of news outlets that has adopted standards to allow readers to more easily assess the credibility of their journalism. Our best practices, including our verification and correction policies, can be accessed here. Have a comment? A news tip? Spot an error? Email [email protected].