In Massachusetts, the Chicopee Police Department decided within hours it would seek criminal charges against a man named Charles Dirosa for posting a Facebook status that read “Put Wings on Pigs.” a reference to the statement made on social media by the man who killed the two NYPD cops this month.
Chicopee police announced the news on their Facebook page as a way to warn other citizens not to make threats against cops.
But then a former cop named Doug Humphrey left a comment on their Facebook page, encouraging police to kill Dirosa.
““For any of my law enforcement friends who may not have seen this if this asshole approaches you kill him dead….” Humphrey wrote.
Six days later, police have yet to charge him.
Granted, Humphrey lives in Connecticut in a town called East Windsor, about 30 miles away, whom once employed him as a cop, but that department was made aware of the comment and has not taken any action, saying only they are still “investigating.”
Meanwhile, police departments throughout the United States are arresting people for making alleged threats against officers online with little, if any, investigation.
In Pennsylvania, Steven Drake, Jr. was arrested by North Fayette police for writing the following:
“We’ve given enough fair warning way beforehand!!!!!” Drake wrote. “We said stop the treason or else! Well they haven’t stopped! For every action there is a reaction! We didn’t do this! The police brought this on themselves! I say kill them all! Enough is enough!”
Drake faces misdemeanor charges of making terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and harassment. He was taken to Washington County Jail on $10,000 bond.
In Colorado, the FBI arrested a man named Jeremiah Perez after being alerted by Google.
The Department of Justice said Jeremiah M. Perez, 33, was apprehended after officials at Google contacted the FBI’s San Francisco office on Dec. 17 to report what they perceived as a threatening comment posted in association with a YouTube video.
“Those who threaten the lives of law enforcement officers through interstate communications will be fully investigated by the FBI and our partners,” FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle said in a statement. “The perceived anonymity of the Internet will not serve as a shield for espousing violence in violation of federal law.”
In New Jersey, a man was arrested by Tinton Falls police after posting similar rantings.
Police say a threatening and profane statement on Facebook led to the arrest of Matthew Reardon, 29, Monday.
The post read “Don’t wanna get clipped while sitting in your squad car?? Don’t be a (expletives deleted) pig who’s looking to get killed…Everyone who goes out of their way to (expletive deleted) with other people should get executed in cold blood.”
In Illinois, a man named Aries Woodfin was arrested as well.
Woodfin, a convicted felon, was charged in Cook County Criminal Court with illegal gun possession, a felony, along with misdemeanor charges of assault, failure to have a valid firearm owner’s identification card and disorderly conduct.
He was ordered held without bond Saturday, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office website.
Woodfin allegedly posted recent messages on Facebook threatening to kill police officers and “innocent white children,” the source said. He allegedly posted photos of white children on his Facebook account along with the threats.
A woman who saw the threats contacted Alabama police officials, who then contacted the Chicago Police Department whose Bureau of Organized Crime launched an investigation.
In Tennessee, Memphis police and Homeland Security officers pulled up to Daryl Lofton’s home after he made similar threats, but decided not to arrest him after he blamed it on the weed and booze.
And in Florida, Lee County sheriff’s deputies visited the home of one of the co-founders of South Florida Cop Block, even though it is not clear at this point what he actually said. But they left without making an arrest, so it was obvious they were just trying to intimidate him.
But South Florida Cop Block is now warning the Lee County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook to watch its step or else face legal action.
Back in New England, the East Windsor Police Department seems more concerned with distancing itself from the former cop, Humphrey, than to arrest him.
On his Facebook page, Humphrey comes across as a harmless family man who takes great pride in having been a cop. Even his dad was a cop, so it will always be in his blood.
But compared to the others who were either arrested or threatened with arrest, his comment was the one that came closest to a threat, so not taking action will further prove that cops are above the law.
After all, he was the only one of the bunch who highlighted a particular person that needed to be killed. The rest were just speaking in generalities, if they even mentioned police or murder.
Meanwhile, the Chicopee Police Department is backtracking from its initial announcement of criminalizing the words “Put Wings on Pigs” after severe backlash from citizens on its Facebook page accusing them of overstepping their boundaries by infringing on the man’s First Amendment right to free speech because he clearly did not make a threat.
The United States Supreme Court is currently reviewing a case involving a man sent to prison for making online threats to decide if these types of postings should be protected as free speech, but it appears unlikely it will see it that way.
For PINAC readers, keep this in mind before posting in the message board. Besides the threat of being arrested, posting “kill the cops” or actually harming police officers is not the solution to America’s law enforcement crisis. Violence begets violence. To change the system, we need to change the people hiring violent officers in the first place – the politicians.
But if they show up at your doorstep over something you posted, please get it on video.
We had written that Humphrey made his comment on the Chicopee Police Department’s Facebook page, which wasn’t the case. Andrew from the Bay State Examiner, which broke this story last week, cleared it up in a Facebook message to me.
Humphrey posted the comment on his own Facebook page after reading the post on the Chicopee Police Department’s Facebook page.
Here is the screenshot of Humphrey’s comment. He has since deleted it.