Detroit Police Arrest Four for Social Media Threats
Four men threatened on Facebook to kill police officers
According to a report, Detroit police have arrested four men for allegedly threatening to kill police officers on Facebook. One of the men arrested posted, “All lives can’t matter until black lives matter. Kill all white cops.”
Police around the country have been on high alert for warnings after the attacks on police in Dallas last week.
“Social media is 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 police chief James Craig, who said the Police Department’s counter-terrorism unit saw the alleged threats while monitoring social media.
Another man arrested told people to contact him in order to organize an effort to shoot officers.
It’s tough to say what the legal ramifications are for making public threats on social media platforms, and that is something Craig has asked state and local prosecutors to look into.
“Certainly, posting that kind of thing on social media is a bad thought,” said professor Larry Dubin of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. “But having a bad thought isn’t necessarily a crime. There are a lot of issues at play here, and I think a lot would depend on what exactly was said.”