Chief Dotson: Social media creates 'my gun is bigger than your g - KMOV.com

Chief Dotson: Social media creates 'my gun is bigger than your gun' mentality

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St. Louis Police share a photograph of seized weapons and high capacity magazines they have taken off the streets. St. Louis Police share a photograph of seized weapons and high capacity magazines they have taken off the streets.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson was among a group of police chiefs and prosecutors at an emergency conference in Washington D.C. on Monday to discuss trends in social media and gun violence. Dotson said he and the other attendees have all been seeing similar problems among young criminals who are heavily armed and do not hesitate to use their weapons.

"(We're seeing) 20, 40, 50, 60 shell casings, that tells us that high capacity magazines are being used, and multiple weapons are being used," said Chief Dotson.

The St. Louis Police Department has been posting photos of guns they are taking off of the streets on their Facebook page. Young criminals, however, are also showing off weapons and high-capacity magazines on their Facebook pages and social media, in a way police view as taunting. Dotson and other police officials are worried the posts may be leading to violent confrontations.

"So if you're from a rival school, or from a different neighborhood and you see that, it's almost sticking your chest out and saying 'my gun's bigger than your gun, let's see what you've got,'" Dotson said.

Authorities believe the correlation between social media and violence involves the accessibility of guns, use of assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

"With no regard to the collateral damage that's being done, with no regard for the people in the neighborhood, the people standing around and that's why we're seeing young kids caught in the crossfire," said Dotson.

Dotson said the alarming trend is part of why he and Mayor Slay support some restrictions to the sale of guns and high capacity magazines.

Additionally, Dotson believes the trend cannot be turned around overnight, but must include an outreach to children on to steer them away from violent gun culture while they are young.

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