Aries Woodfin, a 33 year old Illinois man, was arrested in suburban Chicago on Friday following reports of threats being made on Facebook to kill “cops and innocent white children”. Police searched a home where Woodfin was reported to live, finding a .45 semi-automatic handgun, ammunition, and a makeshift shooting range in the basement. Woodfin was arrested at a different home in Sauk Village.
The owner of the home where the gun was found, Beatrice Franklin, told a local TV station that the gun was hers and that Woodfin was expressing anger over the grand jury decisions in Ferguson and New York. “He was just expressing how he felt”, she said, “which is what everyone else was doing on Facebook as well, expressing themselves. They were ranting and they were raving.”
I suppose we should be comforted by the fact that Woodfin, and apparently “everyone else” on Facebook were just expressing themselves. Ismaaiyl Brinsley expressed himself too.
Prosecutors in Cook County expressed themselves too, describing Woodfin as an angry man who used Facebook to threaten police officers. A judge also used the occasion to express himself, calling him a dangerous man and ordering him held without bond. Woodfin will likely be unable to express himself on Facebook again until after his next court date in January.
One thing is certain, until January at least, Woodfin will be unable to express his anger by killing cops or innocent white children. It is also fairly certain that we won’t hear a word about Woodfin’s racially motivated threats from Al Sharpton. We can be sure that Sharpton, who he recently called on police to protect him against threats to his life, will not seize this opportunity to express his disapproval of violence against the police or to innocent white children. If Sharpton wanted an opportunity to act like a leader this is his chance, but his silence makes it clear that instead, he is nothing more than someone who has positioned himself in front of a mob for the sake of appearances.