Police in Washington State have arrested a man who posted on his public Facebook page about wanting to kill Darren Wilson, the former Ferguson, Missouri cop who fatally shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
Jaleel Tariq Abdul-Jabbaar, 46, was arrested outside of Seattle, WA on Tuesday and brought to a federal court house where he was officially charged with three counts of making interstate threats. If convicted, Abdul-Jabbaar could face five years in prison.
According to a
criminal complaint filed by the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington this week, Abdul-Jabbaar frequently posted on his social media profile about killing Wilson and other cops both before and after a grand jury decided last month not to charge the former Ferguson Police Department officer with killing Brown, 18, this past August; last week, Wilson resigned from the force.
Starting five days after Brown was shot to death in broad daylight on the street of the St. Louis, MO suburb following a brief altercation with Wilson, authorities say Abdul-Jabbaar began writing public posts on his Facebook page about murdering cops.
“Just finished watching the news and they still haven't named the white motha fucka the shot that boy,” Abdul-Jabbaar is alleged to have posted on August 14. “Then we can find where that cop's child goes to school at and hope that the same can be returned back to that white cracka.”
For the next three months, federal attorneys say Abdul-Jabbaar posted similar comments in which he wrote remarks including “We really need to start killing the police,” “I would love to smoke a white motha fuck’n cop” and “We the oppressed people need to kill this white cop.”
According to the complaint, Abdul-Jabbaar started writing in mid-November about wanting to go to Ferguson to find Wilson and kill him.
“We all know this white motha fucka is going to walk when the grand jury deliver there [sic] answer,” prosecutors say Abdul-Jabbaar posted on November 16. “Who the fuck heard of the police policing themselves. This is some real bullshit. Whatever pocket change I got I’m ready to roll to lay down my life so who is ready to roll with me . . . There will be many real black men that will be putt’n in real work with that steel [firearm] will fall on the day when the grand jury let this motha fucka walk. I SAY ‘NO MORE.’”
Meanwhile, authorities say Abdul-Jabbaar communicated privately in messages sent to another Facebook user about wanting to purchase a gun. When a grand jury decided on November 24 not to indict Wilson in the August killing of Brown, Abdul-Jabbaar wrote to the individual, “Time to kill a cop.”
Because Facebook’s servers are located across the US and around the world, prosecutors say Abdul-Jabbaar threatened Wilson’s lives through “interstate wire communication that traveled outside the state of Washington.”
“We are fortunate to live in a country where the right to speak out about current events and disagree with our government is protected by the highest law of the land. Our freedom of speech does not, however, extend to making threats to kill or injure law enforcement officers,” Acting US Attorney Annette L. Hayes said in a statement accompanying Tuesday’s announcement. “Although we each have the right to express our views about the decision reached by the state grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, we cannot tolerate violence or threats of violence that are intended to intimidate, and ultimately silence debate. Such threats are crimes, and the individuals who make them must be held to account.”
Strangely, Abdul-Jabbaar posted on August 14 — the same day that authorities say he first started threatening Wilson’s life over Facebook — about how his social media account was being surveilled.
“EVERYONE ON FACEBOOK I MUST WARN YOU. THE FEDS ARE MONITORING OUR PAGES. AND FACEBOOK IS LETTING THEM DO SO FREELY,” Abud-Jabbar wrote.
The next morning, a Facebook friend of Abud-Jabbar responded to a post by writing “[Facebook] aint the place to rally… [Facebook] is the place that secret indictments are made.”
Abud-Jabbar “[n]ever let on at all that he had any type of hatred of that sort,” a next-door neighbor told Seattle’s KIRO-TV.
“It doesn't seem real, because he seemed real quiet and real nice, nice guy,” added acquaintance Mariam Zayas.
Abud-Jabbar's public Facebook profile went offline late Wednesday morning, Seattle time.