Last week in Philadelphia, two gay men were assaulted by a group of males and females, which left them with some nasty injuries.
One of the men was so badly hurt that he had lacerations on his face and needed to have his jaw wired shut, and obviously they reported this assault to the police. It seems that on September 11th, a group of males and females passed the couple in the street, and made remarks about their sexuality before brutally attacking them and robbing them too, and then fleeing the scene.
However, things took a turn for the better when Twitter user Greg Bennett decided to share a picture of the people who had been accused of the crime, and police released some footage of them on the street in Philadelphia.
Philly hate crime: pic.twitter.com/i3PBprO9nn
— Greg Bennett (@GreggyBennett) September 17, 2014
Twitter kicked in to gear, and another Philly resident who goes by the handle @fansince09 managed to track down the restauraunt and a few of the group using Facebook.
Pretty confident I have at least 3 positive IDs.
— FanSince09 (@FanSince09) September 17, 2014
This info got back to a member of the police force, who couldn't have been more thankful for all the work that the social media users put in.
This is how Twitter is supposed to work for cops. I will take a couple thousand Twitter detectives over any one real detective any day.
— Joseph Murray (@PPDJoeMurray) September 17, 2014
He was eager to point out however that no arrests have been made, while other Twitter users stated that it's very important to ensure that those pictured remain innocent until proven guilty. However, Gawker reported that many of them are "making arrangements" with their legal representatives before turning themselves in as a result of the publicity the case has gotten, and the fact that warrants for their arrest may well be issued in the near future.
While there's still work to be done and a long legal process ahead, it's great to see that, as one of the Twitter detectives himself said, the work of those in the local area through social media has shown that their city will not stand for this.