Millions of Americans post messages, photos, and videos on the Internet every day. It is simply a way of life these days. Social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have millions of users worldwide. How many of those posts include something that law enforcement authorities would consider to be terroristic threats?
According to a recent report, at least one post that was investigated by the Fresno Police Department met this criterion. The reports indicate that a 15-year-old boy - a student at San Joaquin Memorial High School - posted lyrics from a years-old song by rapper Eminem to his Instagram account. The lyrics, which reference the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, were apparently perceived as enough of a threat that the boy was arrested and classes were canceled at his school for a day. The boy is now facing a felony charge.
The threat, taken together with an alleged conversation that the boy had with another fellow student, will apparently form almost the entirety of the case against the arrestee. Law enforcement officials also reportedly searched the boy's home in the aftermath of the arrest, allegedly locating firearms and a bulletproof vest. However, no charges have been filed in relation to the boy's possession of those items, and both the boy and his father denied any knowledge of those items being located in their home - the guns and vest were reportedly found in a subfloor of a closet in the home.
This case has attracted national media coverage, mostly due to the fact that there were no actual acts taken by the 15-year-old boy other than to post - word-for-word - lyrics from a song by a well-known rapper. But, there is no doubt that these are serious charges, especially for a juvenile, and this case has rocked the Fresno area.