A Chicago man was arrested Monday morning for threatening to kill 16 students and staff members at the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park campus.
Jabari R. Dean, 21, appeared in a federal court on charges of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, the Justice Department said. If convicted, he could serve the maximum sentence of five years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, the Federal Bureau of Investigation received a tip about a threat posted on the social media site World Star Hip Hop and the caller provided a screenshot of the threat.
The Chicago Tribune reported that under a video clip of the 1995 movie “Panther,” which shows a group of black men carrying guns and police hitting them, Dean allegedly wrote:
“This is my only warning. At 10 a.m. on Monday mourning (sic) I am going to the campus quad at the University of Chicago. I will be armed with a M-4 Carbine and 2 Desert Eagles all fully loaded. I will execute aproximately (sic) 16 white male students and or staff, which is the same number of time (sic) Mcdonald (sic) was killed. I then will die killing any number of white policemen that I can in the process. This is not a joke. I am to do my part to rid the world of white devils. I expect you to do the same…”
But investigators were unable to find the comment because it had been deleted, so they looked at the alias who posted the comment in the screenshot. The account had the name “JRD” and an avatar of the Chicago Bulls logo.
The FBI contacted the social media company and obtained subscriber information for the account. When confronted with the evidence, Dean, who attended the University of Illinois-Chicago, admitted to writing the post and deleting it.
Although authorities said the threat was credible enough to investigate, when he appeared in court, prosecutors said he did not have the resources to carry out the threat and they do not consider him a threat, the Tribune reported.
The post prompted the school to cancel classes, but they should resume on Tuesday.