Chief Williams hopes people learned lesson from Facebook murder: ‘We can’t do that in this country. We just can’t do it.’

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams says he hopes people have learned a lesson from the horrific murder of an elderly man that was posted by the suspect on Facebook.

"Our kids, although they should not have seen this, I'm sure a lot have," said Williams. "They need to take this as a lesson. We can't do that in this country. We just can't do it."

Police said Steve Stephens, 37, murdered a man on East 93rd Street in Cleveland Sunday afternoon. Stephens posted video of the crime on his Facebook page, then in a series of other live videos, claimed to have killed others. According to Cleveland police, 74-year-old Robert Godwin, Sr. was the only victim found.

After a nationwide manhunt, Stephens shot and killed himself during a police chase in Erie Tuesday morning.

A Facebook spokesperson said after the ordeal that the network will review its reporting flows to be sure users can report videos and other material that violates standards as quickly and easily as possible.

The spokesperson said Facebook didn't receive a report about the video containing the shooting until nearly two hours after it was posted. They received reports of Stephens' confession, broadcast live, just after it had ended. And Stephens' account was disabled about an hour and a half after his first post.

The video was shared and reposted. Mark Zuckerberg even spoke out on the murder, saying Facebook will "keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening."

Williams said he thinks everyone has learned a lesson.

"We've talked before about people not living their lives on social media and being truthful on social media and not harming people via social media," said Williams. "This is a prime example. This is something that should not have been shared around the world. Period."

"I think the people on social media kind of know the power, and I think they know the harm they can do," said Williams.

Williams said he hasn't had a personal conversation with any social media networks following the murder, but the department does have direct contacts.

"I'm sure this is something on the radar of some of our political leaders, our city, state and federal leaders...to have those conversations not just with Facebook but with all social media."

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