A Washington state man was arrested on Tuesday on charges he made multiple online death threats against Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, federal officials said.
Jaleel Tariq Abdul-Jabbaar, 46, of the Seattle suburb of Kirkland, made an initial appearance in federal court on Tuesday to face three counts of making interstate threats, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington.
It was unclear how Abdul-Jabbaar intends to plead and whether he will be assigned counsel or seek a private attorney, court officials said.
He is accused of posting a string of threats to his personal Facebook page targeting police officers, specifically Wilson. The criminal complaint quoted one of the postings as saying: “We the oppressed people need to kill this white cop.”
In another posting, he wrote: “We MUST arm ourselves against the white oppressors who wear guns and badges,” the complaint said.
Federal officials said Abdul-Jabbaar began making threats shortly after the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, an incident that touched off weeks of angry protests in the St. Louis suburb and calls for Wilson’s arrest.
A grand jury last week declined to indict Wilson on criminal charges, sparking demonstrations across the country over allegations of racial bias and police mistreatment of minorities.
Federal prosecutors said Abdul-Jabbaar’s online postings went beyond free and protected speech.
“Although we each have the right to express our views about the decision reached by the state grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, we cannot tolerate violence or threats of violence that are intended to intimidate, and ultimately silence debate,” acting U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes said in a statement.
Wilson resigned from the Ferguson Police Department last week, saying part of his decision stemmed from possible backlash against fellow officers.
Making interstate threats is punishable by up to five years in prison.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Walsh)
The term ‘evangelical’ has crumbled into meaninglessness in the era of Trump: professor
As the evangelical Christian movement began to rise in politics before the 1980 election, there was a fork in the road that forced the self-described "Moral Majority" to make a decision in regards to which candidate they supported: the devout Christian Jimmy Carter, or the divorced Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan.
Writing for the Atlantic, Baylor University professor of humanities Alan Jacobs says it was the Moral Majority's decision to go with Reagan that "inaugurated the affiliation of white American evangelicals with the Republican Party that has lasted to this day."
Trump complains at the UN: ‘I would get a Nobel Prize for a lot of things if they gave them out fairly’
Fox legal analyst: Ukraine scandal is ‘far more serious’ than what Mueller dug up on Trump
Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano on Monday told Fox Business host David Asman that President Donald Trump's now-infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is a serious case of corruption that cannot be ignored.
Although Asman tried to make the story about the actions of former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Napolitano said that what Trump has done appears far worse than anything the former vice president did.
"This is the most serious charge against the president, far more serious than what Bob Mueller dug or dragged up against him," Napolitano said. "If there was a quid pro quo -- it does appear as though a quarter of a billion dollars in defensive weaponry was held back for a period of time while these... conversations were going on between the presidents."