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Threatening YouTube Video Lands Man In Prison 243

Posted by timothy
from the will-be-dead-is-technically-true dept.
wiredmikey writes "Norman LeBoon of Philadelphia was sentenced to 24 months in prison for his production and transmission of a YouTube video over the Internet last March containing a threat to injure and kill a United States Congressman. Following his arrest, LeBoon told federal agents that Eric Cantor is 'pure evil'; 'will be dead'; and that 'Cantor's family is suffering because of his father's wrath.'"
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Threatening YouTube Video Lands Man In Prison

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  • Breaking news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Mattern (191822) on Friday April 08, 2011 @07:18PM (#35764370)

    Threatening people is against the law. Film at eleven.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Threatening politicians gets you shipped to gitmo.

      Threatening normal, everyday citizens? Police care less because their ticket quotas are more important.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by sortius_nod (1080919)

        Pretty much it.

        The joys of a metrics driven "business". Run the cops like a business, get substandard policing where the rich get justice and the poor get screwed.

        • by sumdumass (711423)

          What exactly is the cop gaining or losing by not taking care of the poor verses the rich?

          I really cannot fathom a thing that would make your statement remotely true. Perhaps if you said more serious threats get more attention or something else. I don't know, please explain.

          • by Lord Kano (13027) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @12:31AM (#35765592) Homepage Journal

            What exactly is the cop gaining or losing by not taking care of the poor verses the rich?

            I really cannot fathom a thing that would make your statement remotely true. Perhaps if you said more serious threats get more attention or something else. I don't know, please explain.

            OK. Lemme 'splain this to you.

            In large metropolitan areas, police chiefs are elected. To be elected they need money. To get money(legally), they need to be connected. Money and influence are gained by staying in the good graces of people with disposable income to donate.

            LK

            • I question your definition of "legally". Getting money from people for the purpose of being elected so you rule in favor of those that gave you money has the definition "bribe" in my book.

          • by TheLink (130905)

            If someone takes the trouble to make a similar video threatening to kill some nonpolitician he knows personally, I'd take that seriously too, because it might actually be personal and a real threat. Plus the video is good enough evidence in court to justify taking action, whereas "hearsay", "your word vs mine" or just one post in some forum or twitter is not enough.

            If he's just spouting hate messages against "immigrants" or some other group, I wouldn't bother giving him extra publicity.

            On the other hand if

          • by DinDaddy (1168147)

            Rich person = political pull = call to local government = cop's boss makes sure they respond to the threat against rich person.

            Poor people probably get some response as most cops are in the business to help people, but I would imagine statistically, wealthy people are more likely to get immediate response and followup.

        • by fishbowl (7759)

          Huh? Federal officials are protected from threats under Title 18. Federal law makes it a felony. Threats against ordinary citizens are covered under state and local statutes, usually as civil law. It's rare for a verbal or written threat, however credible, to be treated as a felony, unless the person making the threat also takes some physical action such that there is a reasonable apprehension of the threat being carried out. These laws vary tremendously by locale, so it's impossible to make generalize

          • by TheLink (130905)
            I think this case is also a bit different since one of the threats was:

            "You're an abomination, you receive my bullets in your office, remember they will be placed in your heads"

            AND a "random" bullet has actually hit Cantor's office before. Yes last year, but that's not that long ago.

            So yes there is good cause for arresting this guy.

            If you want to influence an elected politician, write well-reasoned letters to them and vote accordingly.

            Threatening them or allowing threats to go unchallenged, undermines democ
      • BULLSHIT ALERT ! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 08, 2011 @08:44PM (#35764756)

        "Threatening normal, everyday citizens? Police care less because their ticket quotas are more important."

        WRONG.

        You have no idea what you are talking about.

        I, on the other hand, do. And that's because I have actual experience.

        Communicating threats has never been taken more seriously than it is now.

        I spent 30 months in prison for this crime. If someone believes your opinion
        is an accurate representation of how law enforcement deals with this stuff, they
        could find themselves in a world of shit.

        • One night at 3:30AM local time I called the police because a woman down the street was kicking a garage door and threatening to break into the house she was at. She told the man on the other side of the door that if he didn't give her what she was there for, she would break in and kill him. She claimed a common friend sent her there, she offered to trade her bra for the object in question, and claimed she would get $50 if she talked him into giving her a beer as well. She shouted this over and over. At
          • by TheLink (130905)
            Ah but did she kill the guy in the end?

            Thing is women aren't very good at killing people (when compared to men). They're getting better at bashing people up, but still not so good at killing.

            They're not even good at killing themselves. In the western world[1] women make more suicide attempts but have a poorer success rate.

            If she made a threatening video with her waving an actual weapon and saying she's going to kill him with that, then she's past the "dangerous loony" to the "potentially lethal loony" point
      • Wait, hes going to Gitmo? Do tell.

        Hyperbole at eleven.

      • And the policeman replies...

        "We don't have quotas anymore. They let me write as many tickets as I want to now."
      • Threatening politicians gets you shipped to gitmo.

        Threatening normal, everyday citizens? Police care less because their ticket quotas are more important.

        That's possible, but I'd be willing to bet that public figures, on average, have a lot more people wanting to harm them than the normal everyday dudes.

      • by Nutria (679911)

        Threatening politicians gets you shipped to gitmo.

        What idiotic jackasses modded this +5? That guy is going to Gitmo just about as soon as I'm kissing Harry Reid's arse. And that's no time soon.

        Norman LeBoon is going to some mid-security federal prison and that's that.

      • by westlake (615356)

        Threatening politicians gets you shipped to gitmo.
        Threatening normal, everyday citizens? Police care less because their ticket quotas are more important.

        The mod up to "Insightful" for a post like this is lazy, stupid -

        and utterly predictable.

        Google News will return 3,000 hits in a search for a phrase like "convicted [of] threats against."

        It is a small but much needed corrective.

        But less effective, I suppose, than simply drop-kicking the modder into the chill waters of Lake Huron.

    • by humphrm (18130)

      But but but it's youtubes and it's on the internets so there must be some exception... otherwise they're obviously censoring the internet, I tell ya!

    • by fishbowl (7759) on Friday April 08, 2011 @07:31PM (#35764436)

      Well, this is generally only true if the threat is against a government official and if a reasonable person believes that the target has a reasonable apprehension of the threat being carried out. There are state and local laws covering stuff like "terroristic threats" and all kinds of civil statutes, but in order to rise to the level of a federal criminal rap, the threat has to be credible, specific, and targeted at a government official. This is why Pat Robertson got away with making a hit request against Hugo Chavez, for instance.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Except if it's against an ordinary person. Then not much will be done. That free speech thing in the constitution, which lists no exceptions, is completely worthless, anyway.

    • by jd (1658)

      Well, in this case, it looks like the guy is mentally unstable. Well, I suspect a lot in prison are. (The criminally insane are the ones that likely can't be treated but are the only ones to get treatment. Oooooohhhhhkay. That makes sense. I'd rather pay a couple extra cents a year to see someone like this in a hospital than pay a fortune for the layers of security that will accumulate from incidents like this. Prevention pays off better than revenge, even if it's less fun for the media.)

    • by snowgirl (978879) on Friday April 08, 2011 @08:27PM (#35764692) Journal

      Threatening people is against the law. Film at eleven.

      Not just any people, but government workers... go to your local Social Security or DMV office, and you'll see a prominent sign stating that it is illegal to threaten any of the clerks working there. Wait, no... threatening someone with a show of force is commonly "assault" in the USA as well... if you flash a gun at me like you intend to do me harm, you just committed a crime... doesn't matter who I am.

      Politicians in general receive fairly blanket protections, a real threat made against one is investigated and you're likely to face jail time if you meant it seriously, and a stern talking to about how they could lock you up if it was made in jest.

      From the sound of TFS, this guy was a real threat to Eric Cantor, and the guy ought be in jail...

      • if you flash a gun at me like you intend to do me harm, you just committed a crime... doesn't matter who I am.

        Right, it only matters who I am. If I work for the government, I can do that with impunity.

        • by snowgirl (978879)

          if you flash a gun at me like you intend to do me harm, you just committed a crime... doesn't matter who I am.

          Right, it only matters who I am. If I work for the government, I can do that with impunity.

          And cops can speed, and drive through red lights... we've authorized and licensed police to break various laws so long as it is done under color of law. In fact, undercover cops usually get licenses to break nearly any law short of murder regardless of circumstances or appearances.

          They cannot legally do it "with impunity" or without good reason, but courts do grant them a wide latitude in this charge, because holding them to a strict accountability would impede their functionality. There is a good argument

    • Well then we have a serious problem because WORDS should be be a crime.

      who doesnt want to kill every damn politican? FUCK.

    • by temcat (873475)

      I didn't read TFA or the summary, but the heading says he was threatening some Youtube video, not people.

    • What right are we referring to, the right to make threats? Does anyone really believe that has First Amendment protection, or even that it should?

      I'm pretty damned pro-First Amendment, but c'mon people...YRO should involve actual infringement of rights, not well-settled exceptions thereto.
  • "Will be dead" is assault, a felony depending on who it's directed towards. This isn't news.
  • LeBoon is obviously a disturbed individual. And Congressman Cantor's pure evilness can't be good, either.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      That was my thought. Cantor is evil, but that's no reason to threaten him. As rewarding as it would be, you can't just string up politicians for being evil.

      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

        by ae1294 (1547521) on Friday April 08, 2011 @08:53PM (#35764800) Journal

        That was my thought. Cantor is evil, but that's no reason to threaten him. As rewarding as it would be, you can't just string up politicians for being evil.

        I don't recall reading anything in the constitution that forbids "stringing up politicians" so isn't it then left up to the states? Also I don't recall reading any law forbidding it in my state nor local governments so doesn't that mean it's left up for us to decide? :-)

  • Anagram. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    His name is an anagram for: Loner Man Noob

  • just makeing a bomb threat will do the same thing and it may be a pound me in ass one.

    • Now I've never made a bomb, and don't know how small you can get one.. but I'm thinking if you have to pound on it to get it in there, it's probably too big

  • Did anyone else initially understand the headline to mean "Threatening to make a YouTube Video (presumably about someone) Lands Man In Prison"?

    No? Just checking!

  • A Fine Expression (Score:5, Insightful)

    by macraig (621737) <mark.a.craig@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday April 08, 2011 @08:33PM (#35764710)

    This guy might have benefitted from a quip emblazoned on a plaque my grandpappy had on his wall:

    It's often a fine expression of the language to simply say nothing.

    Perhaps I'll send Norman the plaque to decorate his jail cell.

    • It's often a fine expression of the language to simply say nothing.

      That doesn't apply in this case.

      Saying nothing is only an expression if you are being asked (or expected to) speak and then don't. If your opinion isn't required in the first place, then saying nothing simply means saying nothing, it is not an expression of anything at all.

      The guy in TFA was clearly not being asked his opinion by anyone, instead he felt it necessary to speak out for what he believed.

  • Name That Party! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @12:46AM (#35765658)

    Kind of funny that Slashdot has fallen victim to the sickness of always letting you know up-front if someone being threatened or harmed in some way is a Democrat, but as with any of the media outlets seems to "accidentally" leave off mention when the potential victim is a Republican.

    Also kind of funny you don't see Tea Party people being arrested for this kind of lunacy even though from reading Slashot you'd think that every last one of them were equally insane.

    People here on Slashdot seem to equate the conservative body of thought in general with threats and stifling of thought, but repeatedly (as we see echoed in Wisconsin) you have to look to the edges of the left to see actual threats (or even actions) materialize.

  • Why was there any need to send thisguy to 24 months in prison, instead he could have been sent to a center for treatment of excessive anger and temperament control. But the judiciary is a puppet of top corporates, do not be amazed if they start sending you to jail for posting comments like i have done just now .......
  • by Dan667 (564390) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @09:02AM (#35767078)
    government shuts down, they still get paid. Nobody can afford health insurance, but they get theirs for free at US Taxpayer expense. Regular people get threatened all the time, nothing happens.

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