By Julietta Bisharyan
LONG BEACH – Members of a private Facebook group for California Law Enforcement Officers is openly plotting to assassinate civil rights activist and writer Shaun King.
King shared multiple screenshots of malicious comments posted, which he discovered from a friend on Tuesday morning.
“Who do you call to report the misconduct of current or retired law enforcement officers?” King wrote in an online post, in response to the Facebook group.
The discussion began with a suggestion from retired Long Beach Police officer Laura Tartaglione, saying, “I think California needs to start putting a team together of retired military, police, and NRA Members. These criminals that the Democrats created need to be stopped.”
Roy Brokaw responded with, “I’m with you brothers and sisters for justice. And I’ll be there. Tell me when and where. Does anyone know where this Shaun King can be found?”
The thread continues with one commenter, Chris Sanford, suggesting they throw King out from a helicopter while retired LAPD officer Jerry De Rosa says they “need a sniper.”
More blatantly, John Houchens posted, “Shaun King needs to be put down.”
Mark McAdams then wrote, “Need to start cutting the head off the snake so to speak,” followed by multiple angry emoji faces.
“I am ready to rock and roll — let’s get it going boys and girls. Time for a #6,” commented Jeffrey Garcia, also of the Long Beach Police Department. According to California Law Enforcement, “#6” is usually code for a long distance operation or when officers are out for an investigation.
Tartaglione then responded to Garcia’s comment, saying, “organize it Jeff.”
“So, he’s a Marxist and what’s the rule for a communist? Kill a commie for mommy…better dead than red…And so it begins,” posts Kevin Fitzgerald.
Gary Young unabashedly comments, “Remember at my age life in prison is not a deterrent.”
In response, Henry Martinez posted a meme of a soldier aiming a gun with the caption, “Beware of an old man in a profession where men usually die young.”
He also adds, “Yes, some of us may be old, but we still have a sharp eye and a steady hand… and some of these Anti Americans need to be set straight!”
Jim Bohannaon Lugenbeel then posted, “I recommend retroactive birth control, or post birth abortion, whatever you wanna call it.”
These are only a couple of the comments from the ever growing thread. King says this wasn’t an isolated incident either – he said he has since discovered deaths threats against him in other private groups, public pages, conservative blogs, and more.
“Sadly, I receive death threats daily. It’s been that way for years, but they are mainly from anonymous strangers and seem more designed to intimidate me and my family than they appear to be imminent threats of physical harm,” writes King. “We take them all seriously, but what we found in this private Facebook group is altogether different.”
King has been a very prominent face of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement since the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. With the recent death of George Floyd, among other Black individuals, BLM has found itself in the headlines once again, organizing nationwide protests against police brutality and racism.
As a biracial man growing up in Kentucky, King says he was a frequent victim of racially motivated hate crimes. In high school, a group of students physically assaulted him on his way to band class. The injuries sustained from the incident caused him to miss a portion of high school because of multiple spinal surgeries.
In recent years, King has written extensively on his experiences as a biracial person and about the incidents in the Black Lives Matter movement.
A company that former officer Tartaglione co-founded called King’s allegations false. The organization, “Honor Bands,” provides the black bands that officers place over their badges when a fellow member of law enforcement dies.
“She has not called for or participated in the activities that are being claimed against her by an activist,” a post on the Honor Bands Facebook read. “She needs our support right now as the mob is attacking her and this page.”
The Long Beach Police Department is currently investigating the incident, along with help from the FBI.
“The Long Beach Police Department is appalled and deeply disturbed by the tone and content of the posts which in no way reflect the core values and professional standards held by the men and women in our organization,” said the Long Beach Police Department in a statement. “We are 100% committed to working in partnership with our community to ensure that all people are treated with respect and professionalism and will not tolerate any bias, racism, or threats to individuals.”
To sign up for our new newsletter – Everyday Injustice – https://tinyurl.com/yyultcf9