A New York man was arrested for a threatening Facebook post following the George Zimmerman verdict.
After a jury of six women found Zimmerman not guilty in the murder of Trayvon Martin, 20-year-old Remel Newson of Queens went on Facebook to voice his outrage at the verdict.
“BLAC N****S CNT GET NO TYPE OF JUSTICE FUCCIN WIT DESE CRACCER’S #KILLALL WHITES DATS DA TYPE OF SH*T I’M ON F*** DIS BEEF SH*T LET’S KILL COPS ND NEIGHBO RHOOD WATCHER #FACTS DAT,” Newson wrote. The status was seen by 1,811 people, and “liked” by seven, including Newson.
In another post, Newson wrote, “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.” His lawyer, Tasha Lloyd-Garcia, said Newson is an aspiring rapper and that the status was inspired by Drake’s song “Versace.”
According to Lloyd-Garcia, Newson was “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.”
Police arrived at Newson’s home hours after he posted the status, and he was arrested for “making a terroristic threat,” which is a class D felony. Under New York penal law, a person is guilty of making a terroristic threat “when 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 threatens to commit or cause to be committed a specified offense and thereby causes a reasonable expectation or fear of the imminent commission of such offense.”
Newson was also later charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. According to DNA Info, Newson has a prior conviction for assault and served eight months of a two-year sentence before being released in May. He was accused of strangling, pushing, and punching a woman in Far Rockaway.
Newson told police that he “f**ked up” and that the post was a “stupid mistake.” The NYPD would not comment on the details of Newson’s arrest, but Lloyd-Garcia said that was “disturbed” that authorities obtained a search warrant based on Facebook posts.
“It doesn’t seem like it would meet the standard for probable cause to get a search warrant,” she said. “There’s no common scheme or plans to carry anything out.”
Remel Newson was arraigned last Friday and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.
Do you think Remel Newson should have been arrested for his Facebook post?