CHICAGO — A 21 year-old engineering student was arrested this Monday after he made an online threat that lead to the suspension of all activities in the University of Chicago.

Jabari R. Dean, who is black, allegedly made his threat in response to a police shooting of a black teenager by a Chicago officer that occurred last year, and which video was released last week –an event that has led to protests.

Photo: The Chicago Tribune/ Associated Press.
Police officers at the Main Quadrangles of the campus at the University of Chicago. Photo: The Chicago Tribune/ Associated Press.

Authorities got an anonymous tip after someone made a call to an FBI hotline, on Nov. 29, to report the threat. The complaint filed stated that the FBI officer wasn’t able to read the threat originally posted on the website, so the tipster sent him a screenshot. FBI agents who tracked Dean in Chicago, stated that he admitted posting the threat online and that he took it down minutes after.

“This is my only warning. At 10 a.m. on Monday mourning (sic) I am going to the campus quad of the University of Chicago. I will be armed with a M-4 Carbine and 2 Desert Eagles all fully loaded. I will execute approximately (sic) 16 white male students and or staff, which is the same number of time (sic) Mcdonald (sic) was killed,” Dean wrote on social media.

Dean added that he would die murdering as many white policemen as he could, as he remarked that he wasn’t making a joke. Also, he stated that he was going to do his part getting rid of the world’s ‘white devils’ as he called them, and that he expected that everybody did the same as him.

Dean threats’ were posted Saturday, referring to the video that shows Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is white, shooting the 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who is black, 16 times. The officer is currently charged with first-degree murder, and his bond was set for $1.5 million, although he later paid the $150,000 needed and was released.

Dean appeared in federal court Monday afternoon lookinf calm and quiet, as he explained that he understood the proceeding, according to the Chicago Tribune. He didn’t enter a plea on the charge of “transmitting a threat in interstate commerce”. Dean will be held in jail until Tuesday, and it is expected that his mother will release him under her custody.

However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) didn’t consider Dean as a real threat, since he doesn’t have the guns to carry out his plan, federal prosecutors said in court according to The Chicago Tribune. If Dean gets convicted, he would be facing a maximum of five years in prison.

The desolate campus of the U. of C.

After authorities were informed about the threat, President Robert Zimmer of the University of Chicago canceled all classes and activities on the campus for the day. Nevertheless, he informed that activities will be continued on Tuesday, after what he called a “challenging day”.

According to Jeremy Manier, an university spokesman, the cancellation of all activities in the campus affected more than 30,000 people, including students, faculty and the staff. On the other hand, the University of Chicago Medical Center remained open to patients, as the authorities increased the security measures in a center that has more than 7,500 people working at it.

Source: The Chicago Tribune