SEATTLE – A man was arrested Tuesday on federal charges of posting Internet threats against a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, after a black teenager was shot and killed.
Defendant Jaleel Tarik Abdul-Jabbaar, 46, of Kirkland began posting threats on Facebook soon after the shooting of Michael Brown, according to the criminal complaint.
The complaint includes FBI Special Agent Brett Grover saying, "the threats relate to the widely publicized events of Aug. 9 during which Officer D.W. fatally shot Michael Brown."
The complaint does not specifically name then-Officer Darren Wilson as the victim of the threats. It's a policy to withhold the names of victims in such cases, said Emily Langlie, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle.
Wilson later resigned from the Ferguson Police Department.
Abdul-Jabbaar made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court and was appointed a federal public defender. The judge set a detention hearing for Friday.
On Aug. 30, Abdul-Jabbaar posted, "we really need to start killing the police ... OOooopppss I mean our oppressors," the complaint said.
Federal prosecutors said Abdul-Jabbaar posted inflammatory messages for months that called on others to join him on a trip to Ferguson to "give back the bullets" that were fired at Brown.
Acting U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes said Americans have a right to speak out about current events and criticize the government, but "our freedom of speech does not, however, extend to making threats to kill or injure law enforcement officers."
Abdul-Jabbaar is facing three counts of making interstate threats. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.