A Washington state man was arrested and charged Tuesday with threatening to kill a Ferguson, Missouri police officer identified as “D.W.”
The criminal complaint against Jaleel Tariq Abdul-Jabaar, 46, does not reference former Officer Darren Wilson by name but does state that the threats “relate to the widely-publicized events of August 9, 2014, during which Officer D.W. fatally shot Michael Brown.”
The complaint alleges Abdul-Jabbar began publicly posting threatening messages on Facebook five days after the fatal shooting. This Nov. 11 post is cited in the complaint as one of the threats:
“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.”
The complaint also alleges Abdul-Jabbar attempted to acquire a firearm, citing “additional Facebook records.” It states that as a convicted felon, it’s unlawful for Abdul-Jabaar to possess a firearm.
The federal prosecutor for the Western District of Washington said that while people have the right to express their views about the Ferguson grand jury decision, threats of violence are a crime.
“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,” acting U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes said in a statement. “Our freedom of speech does not, however, extend to making threats to kill or injure law enforcement officers.”
Abdul-Jabaar was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle Tuesday afternoon. Making interstate threats is punishable by up to five years in prison.