Nathan Shafer, angered by the arrest of 19 Occupy Columbia protesters made a threat against South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on Facebook and that threat landed the protester in jail.
In his post Shafer wrote she:
“Appreciate(s) freedom of speech,” and “I hope someone murders you before I do,” while adding “How’s that for free speech?”
The next day Shafer was visited by government officials and the 26-year-old retracted his statement, telling them that he was just mad over the recent chain of events that had occurred and was just trying to show that free-speech could still be witnessed.
While Shafer apologize to the Haley family agents called him to say he would be prosecuted for his actions and he then turned himself into authorities.
After the arrest he posted:
“I just think the whole situation is completely ridiculous and blown out of proportion.”
While threats against a public officials life are generally taken seriously there’s a good chance the court will rule in favor of Shafer’s freedom of speech, a Federal court recently ruled that online statements calling for President Barack Obama’s assassination were protects under free speech rights.
In any case airing that type of hateful statement online is immature and shows a complete lack of argumentative reasoning. If Shafer really wanted to get his point across a well though out argument could have incited far discussion about the situation. His argument was tantamount to the thousands of hateful comments internet posters leave each day that solve none of the problems being reports and rely on nothing more than verbal vomit.
Do you think taking Shafer into custody over his remarks was the right decision to make?