Pa. hostage call prompts social media training

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Associated Press

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh police plan to train their officers to be fluent in social media days after a man armed with a hammer and a kitchen knife used a hostage's computer to post Facebook messages lamenting his troubles.

Klein Michael Thaxton is accused of picking a hostage at random in a downtown office tower and keeping authorities at bay for hours before surrendering.

There is some reflection about whether officials did the right thing by not immediately shutting down the suspect's Facebook page. But they say they want to make sure officers are prepared for such judgment calls down the road.

Lt. Jason Lando acted as a coach to the primary negotiator and says that social media is "something we will train for in the future."

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