Young Man Arrested in Alabama for Distasteful Joke, Charged with “Terrorist Threats”

alabamatruth.com

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.

AL.com reports:

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.

5 Comments

  1. If he did actually shoot up a school after making that post & authorities hadn’t acted on it, everyone would be saying “why didn’t anyone do anything he even posted he was going to do it.” It’s pathetic you want to defend him. If someone says they are so depressed they “could” kill themselves your advised to take that seriously. How is this different? This was a terrorist threat. If you were In an airport and made a joke about a bomb it’s still considered a terrorist threat. Same thing. Authorities did what they could to protect more children from dying. Maybe it was a joke, but then again maybe it wasn’t.

    • Apples and oranges James. No comparison. He’s not suicidal, and he wasn’t in an airport. He posted a status update on HIS PERSONAL Facebook page. I don’t give two shits whether he talked about a school or even September 11th. You cannot limit free speech. If you could, the Westboro Baptist Church would not be able to do any of the things they do every day that offend thousands. The Constitution allows free speech, regardless of the subject. Period. When you start censoring speech, you completely invalidate the Constitution, and that’s the single most important document pertaining to our rights and laws. As a Soldier I *hate* the Westboro Baptist for the things they say while protesting at Military funerals- but I still spend every day defending their right to say those things. Same applies with this guy. Was the post in poor taste? Abso-motherfucking-lutely. But it’s his own fucking page. Start there and it’s a slippery slope to book burning, and executing people *moderated*. Frankly, if you want that, there are plenty of places you can go who practice that method of “freedom”- Iran, for example.

  2. Its his first amendment right there was no threat. James if you think we should give up liberty to ensure safety then you are a fool. If someone makes a statement like that yes they should be questioned not just thrown into jail. FYI the jurisdiction he is in is known for its unfair trials and overzealous police force.

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.

    being scared does not justify unlawful prosecution

    so while I may not like what he said I will defend to death his right to say it

  3. You seem to be forgetting the rest of Kent’s statement/post. When someone pointed out the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy, Kent replied: That shooter used over 100 rounds and only killed 26. They should just be lucky he was a bad shot.” That’s a bit too specific for my comfort level.

  4. The last paragraph in the cited al.com article read as follows;

    She said she doesn’t know what Kent’s intentions were, and it doesn’t matter. “With everything that has happened in Newtown, you don’t kid around about stuff like that, especially when you carry it as far as he did,” she said. “We as law enforcement have to take it seriously.”

    now I ain’t no attorney nor nothing but I am of the strong opinion the intent is required to establish both probable cause and guilt

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BweCQ4tETT_YTE9YaW1ueDZveHM/edit?usp=sharing

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