A man in Massachusetts has been arrested for making an allegedly threatening Facebook post which reads “Put wings on pigs.”
According to CBS Local News Boston, Charles DiRosa, 27, was arrested Monday by the Chicopee police after they were warned by residents in the area of “very disturbing posts” made by DiRosa. The post made by DiRosa is similar to one made by Ismaaiyl Brinsley on Saturday before he shot and killed two NYPD officers and then turning the gun on himself.
The Chicopee police made their own Facebook post in response to DiRosa’s arrest, writing, “After the events of the past few days, the PD took this threat very seriously.” A spokesman for the Chicopee Police Department also said the phrase in question is a threat “in the eyes of every police officer in America today.”
DiRosa was arrested on charges of making a threat to commit a crime.
As we reported, the
However, some are arguing the post is protected speech under the First Amendment.
A New York Times article cites the legal cases of Hess vs. Indiana (1973) as well as Brandenburg vs. Ohio (1969) to say the post, without further evidence of intended harm, may not qualify as a punishable incitement of a crime. According to their article, in order for speech of any kind to fit into the incitement exception made by these cases, “speech must be intended to and likely to produce imminent unlawful conduct, as opposed to just being ‘advocacy of illegal action at some indefinite future time.'”
The post made by DiRosa does not say he will kill a police officer, nor does it encourage another to kill a police officer, which makes this more of a general statement, and most likely not punishable according to the author.
The author of the article does say the Chicopee police are in their full right to investigate persons who make such comments, but prosecution for such a crime is very unlikely.