“We’re Going To Be Watching”: New York Police Arrest Man Over Allegedly Threatening Statements and Images Posted On Facebook

24FE2B9600000578-0-Aristy_s_Facebook_profile_features_many_photos_of_him_either_smo-m-44_1422071322717We have been following the response of police in the aftermath of the murder of two officers in New York. One fear is that this effort will extend to areas of free speech and the arrest this week of a teenager boy in Brooklyn would seem to confirm those concerns. Osiris Aristy posted what police consider to be threatening text and digital cartoon images – or emoji on Facebook. He was arrested for terroristic threats as well as criminal possession of a weapon, criminal use of drugs and criminal possession of marijuana. His bail was set at $150,000.

The posting have since been deleted or taken down, but there are included below.

The emojis show policemen with guns pointed at them and Aristy posted a January 15 photo of Aristy with a revolver and rounds of ammunition captioned: “feel like katxhin a body right now.” There was also a post that read: “N***a run up on me, he gunna get blown down.”

24FE2B7B00000578-0-image-a-37_1422066181121Aristy seems to relish the image of a thug and there is nothing redeeming in his postings. However, the question is where police draw the line between speech and criminal conduct. Prosecutors alleged that the posts “caused New York City police to fear for their safety.” Yet, this type of trash talk is common among rappers and others in popular media. Indeed, some of the language is hard to decipher like “F**k the 83 104 79 98 73 PCTKKKK” and “U know how I rock scrap.” There is a nature lack of sympathy of characters like Aristy but the arrest returns us to the question of “violent speech” and when it can criminalized (here and here and here).

If the arrest is found to have been made in violation of the free speech protection, it could implicate other evidence found at the scene though police could claim an exception to suppression. The subsequent search uncovered a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson firearm in his bedroom and more than 25 grams of marijuana in his living room packaged in 21 Ziplock bags.

83rd Precinct Inspector Maximo Tolentino is quoting that “You make a threat on the internet, we’re going to be watching.” The question is what constitutes a real threat and the implications of the government watching for statements deemed criminal on the Internet.

Where do you think the line should be drawn?

Here are the posts that led to the arrest of Aristy:

Source: CBS

53 thoughts on ““We’re Going To Be Watching”: New York Police Arrest Man Over Allegedly Threatening Statements and Images Posted On Facebook”

  1. I need to add & clarify my “Shorter Summary”: There always a potential for simple administrative discipline at each step short of the convening of a Court Marshal. Quoting another person elsewhere: An individual can also be given an “administrative” discharge under Art 32 which may be anything from honorable status to dishonorable and all gradients in between..

  2. Aridog – you’re right. I just heard the retraction on news radio this morning. I stand corrected.

    The wheels of justice do move sloooooooooooooooly.

  3. Shorter Summary vis a vis Bergdahl:

    1. WHAT HAPPENED? Determination of malfeasance via AR 15-6 Board of Inquiry OR other means pertaining the issue, e.g., duty status via the chain of command.

    2. BY WHOM? If #1 is accomplished and misconduct is determined, then an Article 32 investigation ensues, with potential charges provided to the potential defendant.

    3. PROOFS? During Article 32 investigation witnesses and other evidence are identified.

    4. SUBSTANTIATED CHARGES IDENTIFIED. Then brought by Court Marshall.

    The Bergdahl affair is at step 2.

  4. IF, and that is a big if, we had some perp like this on Planet Remulak, we would ship him to Planet Earth. Al Sharpton’s neighborhood would be good.

  5. PS: Karen S…I am not trying to criticize your remark, it is what the media has alleged. I am merely trying to clarify how the system works, where the media has jumped to conclusions. Apparently, AWOL or Desertion status (vis a vis duty status) has been determined, and a list of potential charges prepared, which are routinely provided a potential defendant prior to Article 32 proceedings. As I stated…e.g., been there, done that. And I retain to this day copies of my sworn statements. In my case the AR 15-6 board of inquiry was adjourned, not dismissed or concluded formally. It never hurts to keep copies of what one said 40 odd years ago when sworn to testify.

  6. Karen S said

    Oh, and Bergdhal has been charged with desertion.

    This has become a bone of contention between the press and the Pentagon. Bergdahl has not yet been formally charged with desertion, but he has likely been notified that is possible. There are specific steps that must be taken, in the US Army, prior to formal charges. The retired LTC who said “a list of charges” had been presented to Bergdahl’s counsel is very likely correct. I suggest the Navy Admiral spokesman for the Pentagon consult Department of the Army Pamphlet 27–17, which is the Procedural Guide for Article 32(b) Investigating Officers. Bergdahl is Army, not Navy, so when the spokesperson Admiral says that “this is just not how things are done” I refer him to Chapter 2 of said Army Pamphlet, which stipulates what is to occur in preparation for an Article 32 Investigation….which is a necessary & required formality prior to a Court Marshall proceeding.

    I don’t know, nor am I inclined to research it, if an AR 15-6 criminal investigation was conducted. In Bergdahl’s case it may not have been required to establish his status of present for duty or not. AR 15-6 investigations (usually with a Board of Inquiry) are normally held prior to Article 32 investigations in order to establish that criminality has occurred….particularly when duty status is not in contention, but other suspect malfeasance. I’ve been subject to AR 15-6 investigation and board of inquiry. Even at that discovery level I was presented with a list of potential events & charges….to which I responded with sworn statement(s) and testimony. Criminality was not established, not even close, so an Article 32 investigation was never convened.

    In summary: Bergdahl and his attorney(s) are entitled to a list of potential charges under Article 32 and potential subsequent Court Marshall….and I have no doubt that they have in fact been provided them…it is the normal course of business per Department of the Army Pamphlet 27–17. The retired LTC is correct and the Navy Admiral spokesperson, at best, is hedging or deflecting…I doubt he is ignorant. He may be doing so, somewhat condescendingly, to parse the media’s assertion that charges have been filed…when the actual next step, once duty status is formally determined, is further deliberation (Article 32) and witness gathering prior to formal charges in a Court Marshall.

  7. People have a right to overthrow the government if it no longer serves the people. We are getting to that point. Everyone is afraid to say that though for some reason.

  8. Trooper, I did see your Mayor thanked Al Sharpton for all his work on climate change. LOL!! The Chicken Little “scientists” who blew the predictions on this storm, ONE DAY OUT, are the same ilk predicting weather decades and centuries into the future.

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