John Lang made an ominous warning on January 15, posting on Facebook that local police trying to kill him.
Just five days later, the Fresno community activist was found stabbed to death inside his burning home, with supporters saying he was murdered.
Neighbors had spotted smoke in his house just after 3 p.m. last Wednesday. Firefighters forced their way into the home where they found Lang inside his kitchen, bleeding and unconscious. He was taken to a nearby hospital, and later declared dead.
Fresno police noted that the death was suspicious and that the house was intentionally set on fire.
The circumstances grew even more bizarre given Lang’s warning. He had long complained that Fresno police were stalking him, which he believed was in retribution for him calling attention to their unethical practices.
One week before his death, Lang shared online a portion of a conversation explaining why he believed police were after him.
Fresno People’s Media published the account:
I simply voice my opinion regarding local government and politics on local blogs. I also discovered local law enforcement had been running a license plate scanning scam where Fresno Cops would scan license plates at Retail Store parking lots (Save Mart, Von’s, HomeDepot, etc.) in lower income neighborhoods. After collecting hits of violations they then would pull the unsuspecting drivers over a few blocks away from the store location in a marked police vehicle claiming they simply came across their vehicle through routine driving patrols. This unethical and possibly illegal activity was simply motivated by “profit” and unfairly targeted Fresno’s poorer residents.
Activist Predicts Death, Says The Cops Killed Him – found stabbed inside a burning home in Fresno last week. via /r… pic.twitter.com/hs2orYwEIq
— Worldnews News (@2016dailynews) January 28, 2016
John Lang added that he believed Fresno police were working with the local newspaper Fresno Bee, obtaining chat logs of people who were critical of the local government and police departments.
Fresno Law Enforcement subsequently used the ip addresses in the chat logs provided by the Bee to track down, stalk, and harass those chat bloggers who were critical of local politics and local law enforcement. Since publicly exposing these local law enforcement activities it’s been a constant onslaught of stalking, harassment, and intimidation directed toward myself from Fresno Law Enforcement.
But Lang’s accusations grew even more troubling, the Free Thought Project noted. He claimed that police tried to plant evidence in his home to frame him and were “trying to destroy me by any means necessary.”
In the days before his death, John Lang grew increasingly paranoid. On January 14 he posted a Facebook message warning that something bad may be coming his way.
“Just wanted to give you guys a heads up,” he wrote. “If anything happens to me in the next day or two it will be the result of Fresno PD, my neighbor, and an employee at my job Payless Brakes and Tires on blackstone..”
The following day he posted a more specific threat, telling reporter Corin Hoggard of ABC30 Action News that police were planning to kill him.
“Corin, you want some news? Corrupt Fresno Cops are going to try and kill me this weekend, possibly tonight. This is no joke. Please follow up on my story regardless of what happens or what version the cops and the fresnobee come up with.”
He included a link to a website with an open letter to the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI claiming that Fresno police were “trying to set me up on some type a charge related to child pornography.” At the same time, on his YouTube page Lang uploaded a video showing what he believed to be a suspicious van watching him.
Lang’s story has garnered little attention, even in Fresno where it warranted a small mention in the local newspaper. But it has gone viral among many online news sites, especially those dealing with police abuses and conspiracy theories.
Man found confirmed to be John Lang, a police accountability activist who predicted the Fresno Police would kill him https://t.co/3HSvp0KmCc
— Hollow Gram (@thehollowgram) January 28, 2016
— Counter Current News (@CCN_Updates) January 28, 2016
It is not clear if there are any suspects in the murder of John Lang — or if his death has been ruled a homicide or suicide.
[Image via Shutterstock]