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Facebook sleuth forces police chief to give himself parking ticket

Technically Incorrect: A Florida police chief parks illegally. And then he's exposed on Facebook.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Caught in the act.

David Bires/Facebook screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

He wasn't exactly caught red-handed.

It was worse than that. He was publicly shamed.

Yet he reacted in a way that not everyone exposed to the world -- or at least to part of Central Florida -- would have reacted.

For here was a Florida police chief whose SUV was shown parked on a sidewalk in a Facebook post.

An image of Groveland Police Chief Melvin Tennyson's SUV was posted to Facebook on Tuesday by concerned citizen David Bires.

Accompanying the picture, Bires wrote: "Groveland police department is handing out tickets to people who park their vehicles in there own driveway if they block the sidewalk, $40.00 tickets are issued, but when the chief of police block sidewalks it's OK? Share this post."

People did share it. So much so that it wound up on the desk of Tennyson himself, thanks to one of his sergeants.

Did he smirk? We may never know. Did he ululate in pain at his own inattention? We may never know that either. Tennyson didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.

What we do know, however, is that Tennyson paid the fine. He told Fox 35, "I handed over my credit card."

The Groveland Police Department even posted a copy of the chief's receipt to Facebook.

Bires isn't convinced that the chief's intentions were pure. He told Fox 35 that he believes he paid the fine to "cover his butt" after the Facebook shaming.

Many, though, will admire Tennyson's honorable act.

One or two might sniff that it would be more uplifting if, when certain police officers are presented on social media as behaving poorly, the reaction might be equally honorable.

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