A Brooklyn man was arrested for making online threats to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly in the comments section of an article on Gothamist.com.
Richard Strauss (49) allegedly told readers to “aim their sights” at Kelly, adding that the Irish American NYPD vet needed “a well-placed [bullet] to his thick skull”.
The New York Post reports that police swooped into arrest Strauss, who was previously charged with gun possession in April 2004. He was released on bail on Wednesday evening.
Using the moniker Ladder157, the accused posted the following comment on the Gothamist article: "NYPD Spied On Muslims At Yale, Sent Undercover On Whitewater Rafting Trip."
“Ray Kelly is an enemy of the people and the constitution. As such, he should be treated as any other enemy of the U.S.A. would be. Kelly is a legitimate target due to his illegal actions. I took a federal oath to protect the U.S. Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic and Kelly is most assuredly a domestic enemy. A well placed round of 7.62 ammo to his thick skull would work quite well to eliminate the threat that he poses. All New Yorkers should aim their sights (both figuratively and literally) on this piece of excrement. Come get me Kelly if you have the balls and I don't mean the ones you suck on.”
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In response, Gothamist publisher Jake Dobkin was subpoenaed by the NYPD over the comment. He explained what happened:
“In general, I try to evaluate every subpoena on the merits. If it's a subpoena in a civil case, we'll generally notify the commenter that someone is trying to get their information. Although now that we've switched to Disqus and Facebook authentication, we often don't have email addresses for the commenters, which makes them harder to contact. In criminal cases, the subpoena often prevents us from doing that - our only choice when we believe the subpoena was issued in error or bad faith is to have our lawyers fight it in court,” Dobkin posted in the site.
“But in this case, where there was a clear death threat against a public official, I felt there was a strong reason to comply and give up the commenter's IP address (we didn't have his email.) That's not the kind of comment or commenter that we want on our site.”
In a recent Esquire interview, Commissioner Kelly said that death threats were just part of his job.
"Sure. You get death threats in this job. That's why I have these guys [referring to his security detail] with me. I'm a nice guy, but people want to kill me."