Thursday, April 11, 2013

No one likes it when the comments are directed at them, especially law enforcement

This blog started as a retort to an online vigilante group harassing and threatening me and my friends online. Back then, I took my complaints to the police, and the police did nothing about it. No arrests, no investigation, nothing. Six years later, those numbnuts still pop up like whack-a-mole, taking a few random pot-shots before slithering back under the rocks they came from. With summer fast approaching, I expect too see more from them.

In the meantime, it got me to thinking. If the police don't think the threats on my life by members of AZU and their ilk are worth the time, then why bother with some random blogger who posted blogs and Facebook pages in support of cop killers?

In the city of Philadelphia, home of the Phillies, the 76ers, the Eagles, the Liberty Bell, the Cheesesteak, and Rocky Balboa, lives a man named Joshua Scott Albert. His focus was trolling Philly-area restaurants, and his food industry critic blog "Staphmeal" became a must-read, but only for its salacious content (in one post, he compared one chef to a pedophile and a rapist). But then two of his targets sued and revealed the identity of Albert, and his story became the subject of an article in Philly Magazine. It is amazing how an unemployed drifter was able to quickly attract a crowd. That is the power of the internet.

However, after Albert's 15 minutes of fame were up, as the case with many other flashes in the pan, Albert plodded along for a while, dabbled in other beefs, likely trying to recapture lightning in a bottle. Then he struck paydirt again. Only this time, the backlash would be more than he bargained for.

Last fall, Albert created a number of pages giving props to cop killers and a Facebook page called "Kill Mitt Romney." Albert then created at least two other Facebook pages: "Kill John McNesby" (the local Police Untion Chief) and "Kill Seth Williams" (Philly DA). That was enough to get him charged  with three counts each of criminal solicitation to commit murder, making terrorist threats and harassment. He sits in jail on a $300,000 bond. He faces 25+ years in prison.

It is interesting to note the reactions to this whole debacle:

McNesby testified that at first he did not take seriously the "Kill John McNesby" Facebook page. "He hides behind a keyboard," McNesby said. But after his wife and two young daughters became scared, McNesby said, he realized "I don't know who is out there and reading these pages."

The local cop only considered the words seriously once it hit close to home. And yet, the police don not see how this behavior makes other citizens feel threatened as well? So if the state of Pennsylvania feels this guy's antics is such a big deal that the Senior Deputy Atty General is working the case, then why is it the myriad of threats I have covered the past five years here not considered the same thing? Oh well. Like this Albert guy, the people who gripe about me are harmless except for their blogging. I have waited six years for these losers to follow through on their threats.

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