By Julietta Bisharyan
LONG BEACH – Members of a private Facebook group for California law enforcement officials are openly plotting to assassinate civil rights activist and writer Shaun King.
King shared several screenshots of the malicious comments posted, which he discovered by a friend on Tuesday morning.
“Who do you call to report the misconduct of current or retired law enforcement officers?” King wrote in an article online, responding to the Facebook group.
The discussion began with a suggestion from Laura Tartaglione, retired Long Beach police officer, saying, “I think California needs to start building a team of retired military, police and NRA members. These democrat-created criminals must be stopped. “
Roy Brokaw replied, “I am with you brothers and sisters for justice. And I will be there. Tell me when and where. Does anyone know where this Shaun King is?
The thread continues with commentator Chris Sanford suggesting they throw King from a helicopter while retired LAPD officer Jerry De Rosa says they “need a sniper “.
Most blatantly, John Houchens posted: “Shaun King must be shot.”
Mark McAdams then wrote, “We have to start chopping off the snake’s head so to speak,” followed by several angry emoji faces.
“I’m ready to rock and roll – let’s go boys and girls. It’s time for a # 6, ”commented Jeffrey Garcia, also from the Long Beach Police Department. According to California Law Enforcement, “# 6” is typically a code for long-range operation or when officers are on mission for an investigation.
Tartaglione then responded to Garcia’s comment by saying, “Organize it Jeff.”
“So he’s a Marxist and what’s the rule for a communist?” Kill a mate for mom… better to die than red… and that’s how it starts, ”writes Kevin Fitzgerald.
Gary Young comments shamelessly: “Remember that at my age, life in prison is not a deterrent.
In response, Henry Martinez posted a meme of a soldier pointing a gun with the caption: “Beware of an old man in a profession where men usually die young.”
He also adds, “Yes, some of us may be old, but we still have a keen eye and a steady hand… and some of these anti-Americans need to be straightened out! “
Jim Bohannaon Lugenbeel then posted: “I recommend retroactive birth control, or abortion after birth, as you want to call it.”
These are just a few of the comments from the growing thread. King says it was not an isolated incident either – he said he has since discovered death threats against him on other private groups, public pages, conservative blogs, etc.
“Unfortunately, I receive death threats on a daily basis. It’s been like this for years, but they mostly come from anonymous strangers and seem more designed to intimidate me and my family than they appear to be imminent threats of physical harm, ”King writes. “We take them all seriously, but what we found in this private Facebook group is quite different.”
King has been a very prominent face of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement since the police shootout of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. With the recent death of George Floyd, among other blacks, BLM has once again found itself in the headlines, organizing nationwide protests against police brutality and racism.
As a biracial man who grew up in Kentucky, King says he has frequently been the victim of racially motivated hate crimes. In high school, a group of students physically assaulted him on his way to orchestra class. Injuries sustained in the incident caused him to miss part of high school due to multiple spine surgeries.
In recent years, King has written extensively on his experiences as a biracial person and the incidents of the Black Lives Matter movement.
A company that former Officer Tartaglione co-founded has called King’s claims bogus. The organization, “Honor Bands,” provides the black bands that officers place on their badges when another law enforcement member dies.
“She did not call or participate in activities claimed against her by an activist,” read a Facebook post on Honor Bands. “She needs our support right now as the mob attacks her and this page.”
The Long Beach Police Department is currently investigating the incident, with assistance from the FBI.
“The Long Beach Police Department is appalled and deeply disturbed by the tone and content of the messages which in no way reflect the core values and professional standards held by the men and women of our organization,” the department said. Long Beach Police Department in a statement. . “We are 100% committed to working in partnership with our community to ensure that all people are treated with respect and professionalism and will not tolerate any bias, racism or threats towards individuals.”
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