We were a bit surprised that Greg Burroughs decided to sue the City of Laurel and members of the Laurel Police Department. We thought he would be happy with the not guilty verdict on manslaughter charges in the death of his girlfriend and he would spend his time, or his attorneys’ time, focused on the impending wrongful death lawsuit filed against him.
If we were surprised at that, we were astounded that his attorneys were threatening a lawsuit against a social media critic of Burroughs. Whoa, it doesn’t take long to look at comments from our coverage of the Burroughs’ case and wonder how many people should be expecting cease-and-desist orders, and how many billable hours are being rung up in a crusade against a Facebook bully?
We never condone violence against anyone, actual or implied. When people take to Facebook, there is an air of invincibility in being hidden behind a keyboard. Some of those commenters are downright nasty in what they say — and that is about us! Heck, we had the second-in-command of the Jones County Sheriff’s Department give his tacit approval for planting drugs and harassing Leader-Call employees. We have had death threats through social media — and through the front door of this office. Anyone who works for this newspaper better have a thick skin or learn to generate one quickly. There are some doozies out there.
The commenter Burroughs had his attorneys tell to cut it out is no stranger to the social media pages of this newspaper. He is a constant critic of Sheriff Alex Hodge and can be, well, passionate about his beliefs. We are sure that he will dial down the notion of taking a vigilante approach to Mr. Burroughs. We still support Danny Corey’s right — and every other American’s right — to get on Facebook and let the world know exactly how you feel about everyone and everything, including Hodge and Burroughs. Corey is not alone in his criticism of Burroughs or the sheriff.
To them, we caution: It is apparent that Greg Burroughs has very thin skin and he is examining your social media posts.