Threatening Facebook Post Following Zimmerman Verdict Lands Man in JailBy: Josh Wolford - July 22, 2013
If you happened to log on to Facebook or Twitter in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman not guilty decision, well, you probably saw your fair share of sharply-worded posts. The acquittal sparked massive social media protests – and to a lesser degree social media defenses.
But what happens when you take your frustration and anger a little bit too far? In the case of one 20-year-old New York man, you go to jail.
Shortly after a six-woman jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Remel Newson of Queens took to Facebook to sound off. He wasn’t pleased.
According to court documents, his post discussed proposed “let’s kill cops and neighborhood watcher,” and used the hashtag #killallwhites.
Shortly after Newson made the post, a NYPD officer who was monitoring Facebook for questionable social media posts spotted his rant. Within hours, Newson was arrested.
He’s been charged with making a terroristic threat. A search of his home also led police to a marijuana possession charge as well.
“He in no way was trying to intimidate anyone or coerce anyone into doing any illegal act,” Lloyd said. “He just was very upset with the Martin verdict,” Newson’s lawyer Tasha Lloyd told WNYC news.
But sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between venting, joking, trolling, and legitimate threats. Earlier this year, a man was sentenced to 17 months behind bars for posting “stop shooting up schools and start shooting cops in courthouses!” and “kill you local judges” on Facebook. He claimed he was just posting for “shock factor.”
Also, you may remember the Massachusetts teen who was charged with making terroristic threats following the Boston Marathon bombings. After a petition to free the teen gained nearly a hundred thousand signatures, officials decided not to pursue charges. The teen always claimed that it was just rap braggadocio.
Be careful what you post, guys. People are watching.