Police using social media to solve crimes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police using social media to solve crimes


A few weeks ago, Cedrick Matlock was shot and killed in Waterloo, just blocks from the home he shared with his uncle, James.

Now, James wants justice.

"Let's help one another," he said, gesturing to a picture of his nephew sitting with his kids. "Keep these in your head when you think about not calling. Think about what he just left behind."

Cedrick left behind eight children, according to his uncle.

The investigation into Cedrick's death is ongoing. But now, police investigators have a new tool at their disposal – social media.

Last year, the Cedar Valley Crimestoppers began posting pictures of suspects on their Facebook page and website. They said it's been highly successful in identifying subjects.

"It amazes me how some of these cases just take off right away," said Waterloo PD investigator Brice Lippert. "We see 10 tips on one pic in an hour."

But, like anything on the Internet, he said it's important to check facts.

"You know, Facebook is kind of a double-edged sword," Lippert said. "In one instance it will help us, but unfortunately a lot of rumors get spread about crimes through Facebook."

But, it's allowing police to tap into close community networks to help solve crimes.

"I think it allows us to ask for help," Lippert said. "We need help once in a while and the best place to look for it is the public."

Matlock just wants to see everyone do what they can to help solve his nephew's ongoing case.

"I want to see justice," he said. "I want to see closure."

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