Caleb Clemmons posted a joke to his Tumblr page in February, saying he would shoot up his school at Georgia Southern University and wondering how long it would take for him to be arrested.
The 20-year-old psychology major was indeed arrested just a few hours later, leading to charges of making a terroristic threat and a controversy over whether the post warranted jail time.
Clemmons originally posted the message to his Tumblr page in early February, writing: “hello. my name is irenigg and i plan on shooting up georgia southern. pass this around to see the affect it has. to see if i get arrested.”
He was arrested within hours after an anonymous tip brought police to his dorm room. There were no weapons found and no plans of any attack, but police still threw Caleb Clemmons in jail on charges of “making terroristic threats via computer.”
Family members say they can’t afford the $20,000 bail Clemmons was given, and now have set up an online fund to help Clemmons hire a lawyer, one that’s raised about $2,000 so far.
The Caleb Clemmons case is now starting to garner some national attention. On Sunday Gawker’s Max Rivlin Nadler wrote an article about Clemmons and his family’s plight. The case also has the attention of First Amendment activists, who say Clemmons was not making true threats.
“He essentially said he was doing it as an experiment to see how long it would take to have authorities respond. That’s foolhardy, but not illegal,” First Amendment Center President Ken Paulson told HuffPost.
Andrea Morris, mother of Caleb Clemmons, said her son is a good kid who loves his sister and was trying to go to college to “attempt to do something with his life.” She has posted a comment on Change.org calling for his release.