Guns and Gear

‘Kill a cop or 2’ Occupy tweeter: I was taken out of context

David Martosko Executive Editor
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Update: As of 1:30 p.m. EDT, the Twitter account “@smackema1” has been deleted.

On Sunday, New York City police were investigating an online threat from a 23-year-old “Occupy”-linked protester who sent a short message advocated cop-killing. The sender, Rusty Braxton of Oviedo, Fla., was later identified from a screen capture of his Facebook page, which also included a photograph of his two firearms.

“We won’t make a difference if we don’t kill a cop or 2,” the message read.

In an interview conducted late Sunday night via Twitter, Braxton confirmed that he sent the message but insisted that his words were taken out of context and that he is not in favor of murdering police officers.

“We were talking about revolutions in other country’s [sic],” he tweeted at TheDC. “Never would I advocate cop killing regardless how brutal they were being.”

“It’s just general,” he added in a series of tweets. “I was saying for us to have the kind [of revolution] they have over seas we’d have to do that[.] Never once have I said for anyone to go out and do that[.] it was just a rebelrouser [sic] trying to cause a stink and clearly worked.”

At 11:39 p.m. Saturday, Rusty Braxton sent the message from his @Smackema1 Twitter account to the Ustream live-streaming website. Ustream was carrying a live broadcast of clashes between NYPD and Occupy protesters as they tried to re-take Zuccotti Park to mark the end of their movement’s first six months.

On Sunday the website published an image that shows the threatening message as it appeared in the Ustream feed.

The New York Daily News reported, without naming Braxton, that he had sent other online comments during the Saturday night protest.

The Daily News wrote that the NYPD was “seeking a subpoena to find out who’s behind the Twitter account,” but Braxton’s online trail is extensive and includes accounts on Google Plus, two dating services, StumbleUpon and the WireClub chat room network

He told TheDC that no New York police had knocked down his door.

“No, I called them,” he wrote, “and my house is fine.”

Braxton’s Twitter account featured his real name on Saturday, but he changed it Sunday to “anonCan0n.” The picture on his Twitter page is a Guy Fawkes mask — the symbol of the hacking collective “Anonymous.”

Other online sources, however, still carry his real name and photograph.

At 5:55 p.m. Sunday, another Twitter user tweeted a screen capture of Braxton’s Facebook page, which included his photographs and showed that copies of @Smackema1’s tweets were appearing on his Facebook feed. The Facebook snapshot also showed a photograph of a handgun, a shotgun, and shotgun ammunition.

“That’s me,” Braxton tweeted in reply. “I’m not worried lol I didn’t do anything wrong and am lisenced [sic] for weapons.”

His Facebook page has since been changed to a private account.

On his OKcupid dating profile, Braxton wrote, “I’m 23 with 2 jobs I have a gsxr and own a house I love life.” A GSX-R is a Suzuki motorcycle.

Answering a dating profile question about whether he uses drugs, he answered “sometimes.”

Asked if he was concerned about his identity being made public, Braxton told TheDC, “no not the slightest[.] I would have used another account if I was going to say stuff I clearly know is monitored.”

Braxton also identified the firearms in the Facebook photo as belonging to him. “Got it at a gun show,” he tweeted at The Daily Caller. “Mosberg [sic] pump and a M&P.”

He added that he was licensed to carry both.

“FL permit always in the wallet.”

The New York Post reported Sunday that the NYPD was “separately investigating threats made to two cops and their families” on Saturday.

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