LOUISVILLE, KY – Louisville Metropolitan Police officers arrested a 29-year-old man Sept. 27 who they say shared a video on Facebook Live in which he sought $30,000 to shoot police officers who were responding to a disturbance outside his home.
The suspect was said to have been armed with a rifle during the livestreamed threat.
2/2 “$30,000.00 to shoot Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers on scene for a disturbance in the street in front of his residence.” https://t.co/mtFjJPynhL
— Darias News (@CaesarDarias) September 28, 2020
U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman states that Cortez Edwards was hoisting a rifle with an extended magazine during the Facebook Live video in which he was asking for $30,000 to shoot Louisville Metro Police officers outside of his home.
Coleman noted that in light of recent unrest in Louisville, the last thing that is needed is for citizens to be calling for acts of violence. He said:
“Louisville needs healing and safety for its citizens, not armed felons seeking bids to shoot police. Federal law enforcement here will continue to respond as one to swiftly mitigate threats to our city.”
— U.S. Attorney WDKY (@WDKYnews) September 27, 2020
Edwards is facing federal charges for the alleged acts displayed in the video, with the specific charge of felon in possession of a firearm. ATF Special Agent in Charge R. Shawn Morrow stated the following about the case:
“When you threaten police and brandish firearms, you can expect the attention of ATF. This morning ATF agents, with the immediate assistance of LMPD, HSI, U.S. Marshal’s, and the FBI, executed a warrant and arrested an armed felon ensuring he wouldn’t carry out those threats.”
Louisville man charged with threatening to shoot LMPD officers while on Facebook live https://t.co/P1wJ1IlM3L
— WLKY (@WLKY) September 27, 2020
While authorities were investigating the Sept. 23 video featuring Edwards, they found out that he was previously convicted in Jefferson County for complicity to trafficking in a controlled substance and that he held a previous conviction of felon in possession of a firearm.
The Justice Department said a handgun was found during the executed search warrant:
“A Glock model 19, 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol, bearing serial number BPHA723, was located on the couch where Edwards was sleeping at the time of entry into the residence. At the time of entry into the living room, Edwards was the only adult present in that room and there was a toddler present in a playpen.”
If convicted, Edwards could face up to 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and an additional three years of supervised release.
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This isn’t the first time that we reported on people broadcasting their alleged crimes and getting arrested as a result.
Back in August, a woman in Chicago found out the hard way what happens when you give police all the evidence they need to arrest you.
CHICAGO, IL – Criminal acts typically fall into a few categories – crimes of passion/emotion, planned criminal activities, and of course, crimes of opportunity. Two out of the three often are reckless and lead to speedy arrests, such as looting . . . and livestreaming on Facebook while you do it.
Woman facing 4 felonies after she allegedly live-streamed her Mag Mile looting spree.https://t.co/M7MvKrGmsA
— CWBChicago (@CWBChicago) August 19, 2020
A 22-year-old woman in Chicago found out recently that while looting is exponentially dumb, broadcasting your criminal activities on the internet with video has to be a tier above in stupidity.
Police say that Taeshia Rochon decided that she would capitalize on ongoing looting in Chicago on Aug. 10 and used the proverbial smokescreen of madness outside to snag some new jackets.
While livestreaming from inside a Nordstrom on 55 East Grand, more than 3,000 people were watching live at one point as she appropriated merchandise of her choice.
Whelp, apparently that wasn’t the only place Rochon decided to pilfer from, as she also allegedly stole some merchandise from a Sunglass Hut on 520 North Michigan.
It is with little surprise that someone who viewed the videos that Rochon put online tipped off police – which is what happens when you broadcast your criminal activity online. This may come as a shock to those who cheer on the looting and riots, but not everyone is a fan of the madness.
It's called dry-snitching (telling on yourself) when your dumb ass commits a crime for an audience of 3,000 people online. This dum dum might as well have mailed her fingerprints to police with a copy of her ID.
— Greg Hoyt (@GregHoytLET) August 19, 2020
Police caught up with Rochon and she turned herself in to authorities on Aug. 16. Rochon admitted to stealing at least one jacket but claimed she left it when she saw police were outside of Nordstrom. She also admitted to at least being inside the Sunglass Hut.
So, Rochon is now not only the (possible) owner of a new jacket – but she has also snagged four felony charges of looting, compliments of the CPD’s Looting Task Force.
Now Rochon can get out of jail only if she posts a $400 bond, but even then she’ll have to wear an ankle bracelet for electronic monitoring. Well, Rochon wanted some new duds, but one doubts an ankle bracelet was on the top of her must-have list.
Have time for another Law Enforcement Today story about a livestreamed crime? Check this one out from July:
Charleston, SC – North Charleston Police Department announced that the individuals shown in a video depicting an assault while livestreaming on Facebook have been identified.
The recorded attack occurred about 5 p.m. Friday, July 24, on St. Johns Avenue, near Bosses. The video has since been removed from the website.
However, police were able to provide snapshots of the individuals.
One of the photos, seen on the North Charleston Police Department’s Facebook page, depict two male figures standing next to an individual who is lying on the ground between the two men.
The second photo provided was a better-quality close-up of one of the assailants.
Police were alerted to the crime when the victim walked into the police department and spoke with investigators.
The victim said he was assaulted by a group of male subjects led by a female subject who worked at a barbershop.
In earlier news reports, the female streaming the video was thought to go by the first name Diamond.
Through an investigation by the police department, officers found a social media quarrel between one of the suspects and the victim. Police did not reveal the content of the exchange between either party.
The victim indicated that he did not know the motive for the brutal attack. Therefore, NCPD officials said they are looking into every possible motive, including one which includes the victim’s possible sexual orientation.
Officials with the police department said they have been in contact and working with Alliance For Full Acceptance.
AFFA is a nonprofit social justice organization achieving equality and acceptance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people in the Charleston, South Carolina, area.
Most states and U.S. territories have hate crime statutes that are enforced by state and local law enforcement in court.
However, South Carolina is among the three states without hate crimes legislation. State Rep. Marvin Pendarvis, D-North Charleston, an initial co-sponsor of a hate crimes bill, continues to fight for adoption of the bill.
Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said implementing a hate crimes law could make it harder to secure convictions. Cannon said:
“One of the problems I have with a piece of hate legislation is that now you’re adding an element of the crime that deals with a person’s thought process and what motivated them, and my concern is that is one more thing a jury might seize upon to find somebody not guilty.”
While the state of South Carolina works to secure an agreement on the bill, there are federal statutes in place to protect citizens against hate crimes. Hate crimes can be reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Shepard Byrd Act is the first statute allowing federal criminal prosecution of hate crimes motivated by the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Convictions of such crimes come with an enhanced sentencing structure.
It is unclear how the department will decide to move forward with charges if the motivation of the assault is linked to the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation.
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