A Washington state man faces sentencing for posting threats on Facebook against a former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who fatally shot a young black man — a case that is part of a broader legal debate over when social media rants go beyond hyperbole and become criminal acts.
Jaleel Adbul-Jabbaar pleaded guilty on Feb. 2 for posting a threat against Darren Wilson on Facebook that included a call to “give back those bullets that Police Officer Darren Wilson fired into the body of Mike Brown.”
Federal prosecutors said Abdul-Jabbaar posted inflammatory messages for months after the Aug. 9 killing of Brown sparked protests nationwide, the Associated Press reports.
The federal charge of making an interstate threat carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but prosecutors have recommended that Abdul-Jabbaar be sentenced to time served — two months — and three years of supervised release because he cooperated with state prosecutors in an unrelated shooting case. The plea deal included dismissal of charges for his other threatening messages. Sentencing is set for Monday morning.