Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Idaho State Police Asked to Probe Suicide, Latah County Facebook Flap

Posted By on Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 10:29 AM

A North Idaho sheriff has now asked the Idaho State Police to launch an independent investigation into allegations that his office acted inappropriately leading up to the the suicide of a man wanted by the sheriff's own department.

On June 27, Citydesk reported how 19-year-old Andrew Cain of Pullman, Wash., was wanted by the Latah Conty Sheriff's Office on arrest warrants for possession of marijuana and probation violation. The Latah County Sheriff's Department even posted Cain's photo on its Facebook page in early June, calling Cain the "Wanted Person of the Week," later calling him the "Wanted Person of the Month." Cain's family said he even received private messages on Facebook from a sheriff's deputy saying they "would be watching him and would get him."

Cain committed suicide June 23 and his family pointed to the Latah County Sheriff's Department as bullying Cain before his death.

This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that Latah County Sheriff Wayne Rausch pulled down its Facebook page, which included a string of profane comments following Cain's death. Rausch said the Facebook page had no longer become a useful tool in his department.

"We had, I don't know, probably 50-50 as to some people supported us, some people hate us and then those people get into debates and call each other every name in the book," Rausch told the Tribune. "It's going to be investigated and I'm going to let the investigation speak to what's true and what isn't."

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