A police department in Louisiana posted a notice to its Facebook page claiming that meth in “any area of Louisiana might be contaminated with the Zika virus.” It said people who bring their meth into the department or call police to their home will receive a free test. The police chief admitted it was a stunt meant to draw attention to the drug epidemic. The department had no reason to think meth could be contaminated by the mosquito-borne virus or had any way to test for the virus.
- Should police departments be allowed to make jokes or disinformation like this?
- Do stunts like this make other announcements by the PD less believable?
- Does a stunt like this help draw attention to the meth epidemic?
After some confusion, a Louisiana police chief said a Facebook viral post about meth being infected with the Zika virus was a stunt to draw attention to a national drug epidemic.
The Harahan Police Department never believed that Zika, a mosquito-born virus, could contaminate meth. And, despite the department’s offer, Zika in meth cannot be tested.
On Saturday, the department posted a notice on its Facebook page saying that meth “in any region of Louisiana” could be “contaminated with the Zika virus.” People who bring their methamphetamine to their local police department or call the police to come home would receive a free test.