A Black resident in Buffalo, New York, where a mass shooting left 10 dead earlier this year, told investigators that he tweeted out a fake threat to commit killings against Black people in his community just days after the Tops supermarket massacre, per AP News.
On Thursday (August 4), the U.S. Attorney’s office announced charges against a 24-year-old suspect who anonymously threatened to target Black residents at local grocers in a Twitter post on May 16, two days after a white gunman killed 10 Black people at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York.
According to federal prosecutors, the 24-year-old man said he posed a fake threat to see if racists would cheer him on.
He “stated that the purpose of the post was to see what everyone would say and if anyone would agree with him,” per an FBI agent’s affidavit.
The affidavit also revealed that the suspect told investigators that he created a second Twitter account “in an effort to rectify the earlier post.” The man replaced his original wording of “only looking to kill blacks” with “ants, spiders and things of that nature.”
He was charged with making an interstate threat and faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
News of the charges comes after a Washington state man was arrested last month for allegedly making calls to a Tops market, threatening to shoot Black shoppers.