Earlier today a 21 year old resident of Cleveland, Alabama was detained and taken to the local jail over a distasteful joke he posted on his facebook page.
Blount County sheriff’s deputies and Oneonta police arrested Dakota Kent at his Cleveland home this afternoon, Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey confirmed. He is charged with making a terrorist threat, and is being held without bond in the Blount County Jail. Casey said she asked that bond be denied until Kent undergoes a mental evaluation.
So what did he threaten to do?
Absolutely nothing. He merely stated a very poorly timed, and distasteful hyperbole. The quote from his status update was “”I am so irritated I could shoot up an elementary school,” according to police. First and foremost we completely agree that this statement is absolutely disgusting and offensive, however, there was no threat made. He said “could” not that he would. A BIG difference most people are conveniently overlooking. Others who were involved in the conversation on his page also confirm that he admitted it was a joke and the comment was entirely sarcastic. This is just another case in a growing trend in America of shutting down free speech.
Local sources who called the jail housing Kent said that he was detained for questioning, shortly after, the jail did confirm that he was indeed booked on terrorist threat changes.
This should be a wake call to all who think that tyranny couldn’t happen to them. Proof, your First Amendment rights are under constant attack.
Was what he said immoral? Sure. Was what he said offensive? Definitely. Was his speech covered by the First Amendment? Absolutely.
Just because something sarcastic and rude is offensive doesn’t make it criminal! Think about this America, now this kid, who has his whole life ahead of him, is completely ruined just because of disrespectful speech. Things are getting out of hand.
If we’re going to be the free society we claim to be, we must protect even the most offensive things to ensure none of the good is ever censored.