Four arrested for Facebook posts threatening violence against police officers

DETROIT, MI (WCMH/AP) — Detroit police have arrested four men over Facebook postings that the city’s police chief says amount to threats against officers.

The Detroit News reports that one of the men is accused of urging people to kill white officers.

Chief James Craig said Sunday that the department’s counter-terrorism unit found that posting while monitoring social media.

Craig says one of the Facbook posts praised the Dallas shooter as a “hero” for killing officers, adding that “He inspired me to do the exact same thing.”

The second post read, “It’s time to wage­ war and shoot the police first.”

“Social media is new territory, and while it’s been established that hate speech is protected by the First Amendment, we’re talking about people specifically saying on Facebook they want to kill white police officers,” said Craig. “If someone threatens to kill the president, that person would be arrested and prosecuted. How is it any different when someone threatens to kill white cops?”

Police say two other posts about shooting officers were scrutinized. Craig says two of the men were released and two were jailed on unrelated warrants.

The arrests follow the fatal shooting of five officers in Dallas. Craig has said his officers are on alert after the shootings.

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