Four Arrested After Making Threats to White Cops
Four African Americans were arrested by Detroit police for making serious threats towards White police officers on Facebook apparently encouraged by the slayings of five Dallas police officers last week.
Detroit police Chief James Craig said on Sunday that one of the men posted, “All lives can’t matter until Black lives matter. Kill all White cops,” the Detroit News reported. Another suspect posted Facebook threats proclaiming shooter Micah Xavier Johnson as a hero and that he was inspired to do the same thing. A third suspect announced, “It’s time to wage war and shoot the police first” and encouraged fellow civilians to contact him to conduct the preparation of more shootings. Meanwhile, a fourth suspect posted that such violence “needs to happen more often.” Police said he also shared various pictures and videos of officer shootings on his timeline.
The threats come several days after Johnson, 25, a former Army reservist shot and killed the Dallas officers and wounded seven others during a peaceful protest last Thursday in an ambush spurred by the officer involved killings of Philando Castile in St. Paul Minn., and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La.
Detroit police counterterrorism officers noticed the threats while scanning different social media outlets. More police and law enforcement organizations have been on guard since last week’s attacks.
“Social media is a new territory, and while it’s been established that hate speech is protected by the First Amendment, we’re talking about people specifically saying on Facebook they want to kill White police officers,” said Craig. “If someone threatens to kill the president, that person would be arrested and prosecuted. How is it different when someone threatens a white cop?”
Craigs said he is reaching out to federal, state and local prosecutors to review what kind of charges should be brought upon the suspects. He recognizes these social media threats towards police as a new issue and wants them charged with the necessary crimes. He says two of the suspects will remain in jail for outstanding warrants and the other two were released.
Photo: Detroit Police Chief James Craig speaks to reporters. AP