By John Del Signore
A Far Rockaway man was arrested last week for making a Facebook status update with the hashtag “killallwhites,” which a nervous NYPD interpreted as “making a terroristic threat,” a felony. In the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict, Remel Newson’s status update caught the eye of an NYPD officer monitoring Facebook; it read: “BLAC NIGGAS CNT GET NO TYPE OF JUSTICE FUCCIN WIT DESE CRACCER’S #KILLALL WHITES DATS DA TYPE OF SHIT I’M ON FUCK DIS BEEF SHIT LET’S KILL COPS ND NEIGHBO RHOOD WATCHER #FACTS DAT.” Cops were at Newson’s door with hours.
According to investigators, Newson, 20, admitted he made the Facebook post, as well as another Facebook post quoting Drake, which the Queens DA also views as terroristic. (The Drake lyric quoted was “VASSACI VASSACI DESE HATERS IS WATCHIN DEY WISH DEY COULD STOP ME’ DA FLOCCS IN DA LOBBY WE GRIP WITH DA SHOTIE ND WE’LL CATCH A BODY.”)
The criminal complaint says Newson told officers “he fucked up, that he shouldn’t have wrote the above statement on Facebook and that it was a stupid complaint.” But Tasha Lloyd, the Legal Aid attorney representing Newson, tells WNYC his first Facebook post was merely copied and pasted from someone else’s account, and that her client “in no way was trying to intimidate anyone or coerce anyone into doing any illegal act. He just was very upset with the Martin verdict.”
Making a terroristic threat is defined as making a threat “with intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a unit of government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a unit of government by murder, assassination or kidnapping, he or she threatened to commit or cause to be committed a specified offense and thereby caused a reasonable expectation or fear of the imminent commission of such offense.”