Again, you cannot threaten President Obama’s life online, in jest or otherwise, without getting someone attention from the Secret Service.
This is a lesson being learned by 68-year-old David Marsters of Maine, who wrote “shoot the n****r” in reference to President Obama on Facebook Friday.
The post was on his personal page, and complimented a link to a story about GOP lawmakers pursuing an impeachment of President Obama.
Marsters, who is actually running for town selectman in Sabattus, Maine, was visited by the Secret Service and questioned for an hour at his local police station.
For his part, Marsters doesn’t see why he became a person of interest to the Secret Service, and believes they were wasting their time.
“I think it’s a lot of hogwash,” he said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I did not threaten the president…. I might have used the wrong words…. I didn’t say I was going to do it.”
He admitted that he should have worded his post better. He offered a few alternatives.
“What I really meant to say is, ‘When are we going to get rid of this (expletive),'” he said. “I should have said, ‘I hope the bastard dies.'”
Marsters was also visited by local law enforcement officers as well as CIA agents. The Secret Service investigates all threats against the president, grave or otherwise.
Civil rights officials have called for a strong response in the case, especially in light of Marster’s intention to seek public office and his status as a retired police officer.
“When somebody who is seeking a public position says something like this, it tends to encourage other people. It legitimizes this. ‘Maybe it’s OK to take it a step further,'” said Steve Wessler, a former civil rights prosecutor.
“It’s extraordinarily irresponsible,” he continued. “Just think about how a 14-year-old black boy or girl reacts to hearing there are people not only referring to the president by that word, but talking about ‘We want to shoot him.’ That’s extraordinarily degrading.”