Violent threats erupt on Twitter as teenager who made joke on Facebook languishes in jail.
July 2, 2013
Could the threats of violence, mass looting and rioting by Travyon Martin supporters fall under “terroristic threat” laws?
As we reported earlier today, supporters are stating on Twitter that they will loot businesses and riot if George Zimmerman is acquitted of second-degree murder in the trial that appears to be heading in his favor.
Death threats were also made against Zimmerman.
According to Texas Penal Code Section 22.07, for example, a terroristic threat offense consists of:
(a) A person commits an offense if he threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to:
(1) cause a reaction of any type to his threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
(2) place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
(3) prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, place of employment or occupation, aircraft, automobile, or other form of conveyance, or other public place;
(4) cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service;
(5) place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or
(6) influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.
Other states have similar laws.
Granted, there is a definite argument on the constitutionality of these laws. With that said, Americans continue to be charged for “terroristic threats” in cases involving bubble guns, water guns and sarcasm.
As recently reported, Austin teenager Justin Carter was charged for making a “terroristic threat” for a joke he made on Facebook.
Carter’s father said that someone wrote to Carter saying he was crazy and insane. “Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts lol jk,” Carter said sarcastically in response.
Carter spent his 19th birthday in jail for the comment after a Canadian woman complained to police. He’s facing eight years in prison and his parents are devastated.
In January, we reported that a five-year-old girl was suspended for a “terroristic threat” when she told her fellow students she would shoot them with a Hello Kitty bubble gun.
Apparently the school officials considered bubbles as causing serious harm to others.
We also reported in April that New York police revoked a man’s pistol license and confiscated his firearms after his son threatened to use a water pistol against bullies.
While police remain busy with cases such as these, Travyon supporters’ threats of civil unrest and violence go largely ignored.