NEW YORK (AP) — A 20-year-old has been charged with making a terroristic threat after prosecutors say he posted threatening messages about killing cops and white people on his Facebook page following the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.
Remel Newsom was being held without bail after his arraignment Friday in Queens criminal court. According to a criminal complaint, he published two posts. One read, in part: "let's kill cops and neighborhood watcher," a reference to Zimmerman, and "Kill all whites." Another post said he would "catch a body."
There have been protests around the country following Zimmerman's acquittal earlier this month on murder charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida. Zimmerman says he acted in self-defense.
Queens prosecutors said Newsom had more than 1,800 friends on Facebook who had access to the posts, and that at least seven people "liked" the posts. There was no indication that Newsom acted on the threats posted on the site. He also was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after he was arrested at his home in Queens.
Newsom's attorney Tasha Lloyd-Garcia said Monday that Newsom told police he had pasted one of the posts from another location. She says a second post may have been his own lyrics — Newsom is an aspiring rapper.
"I think it's really troublesome that the NYPD was trolling through people's Facebook pages," she said. "And that they were able to get a search warrant based solely on these posts."
Lloyd-Garcia said the case would be presented to the grand jury on Thursday, and she hoped they would see that no crime was committed.