Sarcastic or Terroristic? Texas Teen Held Almost Five Months For Single Facebook Comment

xjustin-carter-photo.jpg.pagespeed.ic.5DwZFivrYVWe have previously discussed the often unhinged reaction to jokes and postings referring to violence by authorities. It is certainly understandable and commendable to take such postings seriously, but even when all available evidence points to a juvenile exchange or bad joke, the cases seems to go into autopilot with prosecutors and police insisting on absurd charges. That appears to be the case of Texas teenager Justin Carter who has been held for over four months due to a single sarcastic posting on Facebook for “terroristic threats.” This case shows, once again, prosecutors and police showing no judgment or logic in the handling of such cases.

Carter’s nightmare began with Justin and a friend were arguing on Facebook with someone else over the online video game “League of Legends.” Someone said Justin was insane and he responded in juvenile jest with “I’m fucked in the head alright. I think I’ma (sic) shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them.” His family says that he followed that with “LOL” and “J/K.” However, a woman in Canada called police and a week later a search warrant was issued.

Prosecutors then brought charges without showing any discretion and this void of logic was followed by a judge who set bail at $500,000.

There is no reference to a single piece of evidence supporting a claim that there was any intent to commit an act of violence. Yet, this young man is being held for months on an absurd bail amount in a case based on what appears to be juvenile banter. The concern is that we now have this massive counter-terrorism system funded by billions of dollars each year and employing thousands of investigators and prosecutors. There have been relatively few serious cases to feed and justify this system. When any case enters the system and “terrorism” is mentioned, it seems to go on autopilot. No one wants to be accused of being soft on such crimes.

If there is more to this case, someone needs to identify it. As it stands, this sounds like a cruel joke on a teen who has been languishing in jail for a sarcastic joke.

A hearing to reconsider Carter’s bail is set for July 16.

Source: CNN

49 thoughts on “Sarcastic or Terroristic? Texas Teen Held Almost Five Months For Single Facebook Comment”

  1. Why did this teen who made an obviously saracastic comment have to spend so much time in prison whereas the people who posted rather serious threats about causing violence and mayhem in the advent of a Zimmerman acquital, even threatening to kill people are allowed their platform without so much as a tsk tsk?

  2. Teen jailed for Facebook ‘joke’ is released

    (CNN) — The Texas teen facing a felony terrorism charge over an alleged threat on Facebook has been released on bail after an anonymous donor posted a $500,000 bond.
    Justin Carter, 19, had spent five months in prison for posting, during an argument about a video game, what he said was a sarcastic comment about how he was going to “shoot up a kindergarten.”

  3. The militarization of the policy force generates psychological problems:

    Between about the early 1980s and today, American police forces have undergone some substantial changes. Most notable among these is the ascent of the SWAT team. Once limited to large cities and reserved for emergency situations like hostage takings, active shooters, or escaped fugitives, SWAT teams today are primarily used to serve warrants on people suspected of nonviolent, consensual drug crimes.

    The numbers are staggering. In the early 1980s, there were about 3,000 SWAT “call-outs” per year across the entire country. By 2005, there were an estimated 50,000. In New York City alone, there were 1,447 drug raids 1994. By 2002, eight years later, there were 5,117 — a 350 percent increase. In 1984, about a fourth of towns between 25,000-50,000 people had a SWAT team. By 2005, it was 80 percent.

    Today, the use of this sort of force is in too many jurisdictions the first option for serving search warrants instead of the last. SWAT teams today are used to break up poker games and massage parlors, for immigration enforcement, even to perform regulatory inspections.

    Troubling as all of this is, the problem goes beyond SWAT teams. Too many police departments today are infused with a more general militaristic culture. Cops today are too often told that they’re soldiers fighting a war, be it a war on crime, on drugs, on terrorism, or whatever other recent gremlin politicians have chosen as the enemy.


  4. That’s some troll, David B.

    We’ve has some trolls threaten people physically here before, but that guy was out of control.


    LONDON — A British man was sentenced Tuesday to more than two years in jail for threatening to kill 200 people in a Facebook posting that caused thousands of Tennessee children to stay home from school.

    Reece Elliott from South Shields in northeast England pleaded guilty in April to making malicious comments.

    The online posting threatening gun violence was made anonymously in February on a memorial page set up for a Tennessee student who had died.

    Judge James Goss sentenced 24-year-old Elliott to two years and four months in prison, telling him the “grossly offensive” comments were driven by “no more than self-indulgent nastiness.”

    Elliott, who wept upon sentencing, had written of killing his father first – then “going in fast.”

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