Edmonton police are warning the public against vigilante action after a YouTube video was posted over the weekend, outing two men as trying to lure underage girls for sex.
The video, posted Friday by a group claiming to be hacktivist group Anonymous, says it has identified numerous Edmontonians who have tried to solicit sex from underage children using various Internet sites.
“Hello, Citizens of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We are Anonymous. We have been waiting patiently over the last 24 hours for your police service to respond to us with some form of proof that they have apprehended the individuals that we lured out during our “pedo-sweep” operation in your city. We have not," the video begins, before going on reveal the names, photos and professions of two men.
Edmonton police, however, are warning they have not yet verified the claims made in the video and do not want members of the public to engage in vigilante justice.
“I would just caution anyone and everyone to not judge anybody by information that isn’t complete over the Internet, especially, and when all the facts aren’t know. I think it’s really important to let the police do their job,” said Bob Andrews of the ALERT Internet Child Exploitation unit told reporters at a press conference.
Andrews told Global News police were contacted about the claims in May, and while they are investigating the video does not contain enough evidence to convict anyone.
The video claims Edmonton police were notified of a man going to a public location to meet a girl, but did not arrest him. It also warns that the group will release more names if the police don't take action against the men in the video.
According to the Edmonton Journal, the group has been uncooperative to police requests.
“We have attempted to work with Anonymous, but to this point, Anonymous has been reluctant to do so ...,” he said. “Obviously, it is easier to investigate when we have a co-operative witness.”
The Calgary Sun reports police have not been in contact with the men named in the video.
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