DENVER (Reuters) – FBI agents arrested a Colorado man who posted online threats advocating the killing of police officers after investigators received a tip about one of the messages from Google, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Jeremiah Perez, 33, was detained without incident at his home in Colorado Springs on Monday and faces up to five years in federal prison if convicted, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado said in a statement.
It said Google urgently contacted the FBI’s San Francisco office on December 17 to report a comment on a YouTube video from someone going by the username “Vets Hunting Cops”.
Referring to a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in Missouri in August, the message read in part: “SINCE DARREN WILSON our group has killed 6 retired sheriffs and cops… because of this event we will hunt two more in Colorado this week… for every innocent citizen that cops kill WE, VETERANS WILL KILL RETIRED HELPLESS COPS.” The FBI tracked the user’s profile to an address in Colorado Springs, and on Monday its agents contacted Perez there.
“At that time they determined that he knew that law enforcement officers would see the post and his intent was for them to be fearful after reading it,” the US Attorney’s Office said in its statement. “He was then arrested.”
Two New York City police officers were shot and killed as they sat in their patrol car on Saturday in an attack that commanders dubbed an assassination and which has left police forces around the country on edge.