Federal prosecutors have charged a Kirkland man with making interstate threats against the life of former Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson and his family.
Jaleel Tariq Abdul-Jabbaar, 46, is identified as a convicted felon with drug and firearms-related convictions who is accused to trying to purchase a firearm over Facebook, telling the seller that he was “going to Ferguson. Can you just sit back and do nothing. White motha (expletive) killing us like our lives ain’t (expletive).”
He was arrested Tuesday morning at his home, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle.
Abdul-Jabbaar is alleged to have posted the following on his Facebook page on Nov. 11, after a series of escalating declarations of outrage and threats over the Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown in Ferguson: “Are there any REAL BLACK MEN that would love to go down to Ferguson Missouri to give back those bullets that Police Officer [D.W.] fired into the body of Mike Brown. If we’re unable to locate Officer [D.W.] then we’ll return them to his wife and if not her then his children.”
Wilson, who last week resigned from the Ferguson Police Department, is identified in the eight-page complaint by initials only in keeping with Department of Justice policy not to identify alleged victims of crimes by name.
The charges were brought by FBI Special Agent Brett Glover of the bureau’s Seattle Office and Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The complaint alleges that, five days after the Aug. 9 shooting of Brown, Abdul-Jabbaar allegedly complained on his Facebook page that officials had not yet identified the officer involved. When they do, he wrote, “Then we can find where the cop’s child goes to school …”
Later, on Aug. 30, after surveillance video of the shooting was released publicly, he allegedly wrote “We really need to start killing the police … OOoooppps I mean our oppressors.”
On Sept. 15, Abdul-Jabbaar posted Wilson’s photograph after the hacker ANONYMOUS put it up on the Internet. “This dude needs his house sprayed,” he allegedly wrote. A few weeks later, he wrote, “We the oppressed people need to kill this white cop.”
On Nov. 16, the complaint says Abdul-Jabbaar wrote a lengthy missive on his Facebook page, anticipating the grand jury’s decision not to charge Wilson. “How many are preparing, are prepared for Ferguson? Whatever pocket change I got I’m ready to roll to lay down my life so who is ready to roll with me.”
When the Ferguson grand jury returned its decision, Abdul-Jabbaar reportedly posted, “Ready to go and kill some cops.”
In late October, Abdul-Jabbaar is reported to have connected with a friend on Facebook looking to buy a .40-caliber or 9 mm handgun.
The charges come as the U.S. Supreme Court is weighing where to draw the line between free speech and illegal threats in the digital age.
“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 U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes wrote in a news release.