Updated: Mar 12
A 21-year-old college student has been arrested for threatening to “execute approximately 16 white male students and or staff” at the University of Chicago and “any number of white policemen” to avenge the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in US District Court in Chicago.
Jabari R. Dean was arrested Monday and charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois announced. According to the affidavit, Dean wrote in an online post that he planned to show up at the University of Chicago’s campus quad Monday morning armed with an assault rifle and two semiautomatic pistols and would “do my part to rid the world of the white devils.”
An FBI special agent said in the affidavit that the post was written by Dean, who threatened to kill approximately 16 white students and university staff members—“which is the same number of times Mcdonald was killed.”
Laquan McDonald, a black teenager, was fatally shot last year by a white Chicago police officer, who fired a total of 16 shots—all of the ammunition in his clip. Jason Van Dyke, a 14-year veteran of the police force, was charged with first-degree murder for the fatal confrontation. A newly released, graphic video of the killing has sparked unrest in Chicago.
On Monday, federal authorities confronted Dean before the 10 AM deadline given in the post, and he was arrested without incident, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Dean was a student at nearby University of Illinois at Chicago.
His post was deleted, but authorities were given a copy of it, according to the affidavit. Dean, the document said, admitted to a federal investigator that he had posted it from his phone.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Dean “appeared in federal court Monday afternoon wearing a red UIC hooded sweatshirt and jeans, and kept his arms at his sides as he quietly confirmed that he understood the proceedings. He will be held in jail until Tuesday, when he is expected to be released to the custody of his mother.”
If convicted, Dean could face up to five years in prison, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide is deeply concerned about the ongoing racial tension felt across the country.
The severity of threats made against students and faculty have added to grave concerns about the ability of intellectuals to work safely in American educational settings, particularly at the university level where education is elective. Targeting scholars harms the entire educational community by undermining universities' abilities to meet their educational, research, and social responsibilities.