Date
16 December 2017
New York police officers pay their respects at a memorial for two comrades who were shot and killed in their patrol car on Saturday. Photo: AFP
New York police officers pay their respects at a memorial for two comrades who were shot and killed in their patrol car on Saturday. Photo: AFP

FBI arrests man over YouTube threats to kill cops

US Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested a man from Colorado who posted online threats advocating the killing of police officers after receiving a tip from search giant Google.

Jeremiah Perez, 33, was arrested at his home in Colorado Springs on Monday and faces up to five years in federal prison if convicted, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado.

It said Google urgently contacted the FBI’s San Francisco office on Dec. 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.”

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.

According to an FBI arrest warrant affidavit, Perez served in the US armed forces. It said he told agents his father was a police officer employed by the US Air Force, and that he had “bad experiences” growing up around law enforcement.

Perez told investigators he has had some problems with police officers in the past, and he “described an incident where he believed he was treated differently because of his Latino heritage”, the affidavit said.

Perez is schedule for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 29.

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FL/CG

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