In what seems like a bizarre sequel, the Occupy Movement seemed to be revving up over the weekend, as protesters re-Occupied New York City’s Zuccotti Park. While 73 protesters were reportedly arrested in the clash, there was another troubling story that emerged. On Saturday evening, a man with the Twitter handle “smackema1″ allegedly sent the following message: “we wont make a difference if we dont kill a cop or 2.”
The Daily Mail has more about the purportedly violent tweet and the investigation that it has spawned:
A tweet encouraging the Occupy Wall Street movement to ‘kill’ police officers during clashes in Zuccotti Park is being investigated.
The post, which was directed to a page on Ustream showing live footage of the protests, was allegedly written under the Twitter handle ‘smackema1′ on Saturday at 11.39pm. [...]
Phone threats made to two police officers and their families on Saturday are also being investigating, officials told the Daily News.
The threat came as protesters clashed with police after they began breaking the official rule of the park which forbids the use of tents in an effort to curb overnight protests.
Police are looking into whether it was a direct threat on law enforcement and are seeking a subpoena to identify the individual. Over the weekend, Eileen Lehpamer of 1010 WINS tracked down the man who sent the tweet. The Florida-based individual claims that he is “military” and that, although he supports the Occupy movement, he has never been to New York, CBS News reports.
During the discussion with Lehpamer, the man didn’t deny making the comment, but he said that it isn’t what he meant. Instead, he claims the tweet was a part of a larger-scale chat he was involved in while watching events unfold on the U-Stream video feed from Zuccotti Park.
The tweet in question is not viewable on the man’s Twitter feed, which indicates that it was never actually sent or that it was deleted. The JWF blog, though, features an image that appears to show the comment in the U-Stream chat block:
“I don’t support that. I’ve never told anyone ‘Why don’t you go kill a cop today?,’ he is quoted as telling Lehpamer. “I’ve never said that once. I never will support that.”
Interestingly, the Daily Mail claims that the Twitter account was blocked from the public following the incident, but as of this morning, the man in question has his account set to “public” and is sending countless tweets defending himself. The initial tweet, he continues to contend, was taken out of context:
On Sunday evening, the Daily Caller published a report identifying the individual as “Rusty Braxton” of Oviedo, Florida. A Google search with that name returned the following result, essentially linking the individual to the aforementioned Twitter account:
The Daily Caller continues:
Braxton’s Twitter account featured his real name on Saturday, but he changed it Sunday to “anonCan0n.” The picture on his Twitter page is a Guy Fawkes mask — the symbol of the hacking collective “Anonymous.”
Other online sources, however, still carry his real name and photograph.
At 5:55 p.m. Sunday, another Twitter user tweeted a screen capture of Braxton’s Facebook page, which included his photographs and showed that copies of @Smackema1′s tweets were appearing on his Facebook feed. The Facebook snapshot also showed a photograph of a handgun, a shotgun, and shotgun ammunition.
“That’s me,” Braxton tweeted in reply. “I’m not worried lol I didn’t do anything wrong and am lisenced [sic] for weapons.”
Since these interactions and revelations, Braxton’s Facebook page has been made private. It seems the police won’t need to go very far to collect information on the young man, though, as his social media prints have already been tracked by journalists and bloggers, alike.