A teenager has been arrested in connection to a threat made Wednesday, on 4chan, against the students of Charlottesville High School in Virginia.
An unidentified 17-year-old male was arrested early Friday morning and charged with one count of felony threats and one count of misdemeanor harassment, according to a Charlottesville police press release. The arrest was made in relation to an anonymous 4chan post on Wednesday in which a user, claiming to be a student at the high school, said they were going to commit “ethnic cleansing” there the next day. The post, full of racial slurs, warned students not to show up to school on Thursday, and other users took that to mean a school shooting was about to happen.
No students showed up because officials closed public schools citywide on Thursday and Friday as police investigated.
Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney gave a fiery statement after the arrest, going after President Donald Trump for his statements about “very fine people on both sides” after the deadly “Unite the Right” fascist rally held in the city in 2017.
“Hate is not welcomed in Charlottesville,” she said. “And we stand firmly in stating there are not very fine people on both sides of this issue.”
Investigators said they worked in cooperation with internet service providers to reveal who the anonymous 4chan poster was. The teen suspect, they said, won’t be identified.
A Charlottesville police spokesperson confirmed to HuffPost that this arrest was separate from another arrest of a juvenile in Albemarle County on Friday, in connection to a separate threat on Albemarle High School just outside Charlottesville. That threat was made on “social media” but details weren’t immediately available.
Both threats were a nightmare reborn for Charlottesville residents, who are faced with a constant barrage of violent extremism, especially of the racist variety. They’re still going to court hearings in relation Unite the Right, and still in battles over the fate of Confederate monuments and other odes to racism around town.
Meanwhile, the world’s eyes remain on New Zealand, which began a process to ban semi-automatic rifles and other weaponry almost immediately after a white nationalist killed at least 50 worshipers at two mosques. Both that incident and Unite the Right were planned or advertised on sites like 4chan, 8chan and Reddit.
In the wake of the mosque shootings, New Zealand internet service providers banned 4chan and 8chan, among other sites that hosted video of the shooting.