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Man allegedly threatens to lynch Florida representative—then blames it on ‘meme maker’
Photo via Medill DC/Flickr (CC-BY)
That’s an interesting excuse.
54-year-old Tom Keevers is a diehard Donald Trump fan. He hates liberals, he dislikes Obama, and he’s ready to vehemently defend his president on Facebook. Keevers is also now under investigation for allegedly asking Facebook users to help him lynch Trump adversary Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.).
Keevers told the Chicago Tribune’s Chicago Inc. that he was involved in a “fast and furious” fight on Facebook, centered on whether or not Wilson was “using the death of an American soldier” for political gain; last week, the representative had come forward with details of the president’s mishandled condolence call to a fallen soldier’s widow. Things quickly went out of control, Keevers claims, and “some disgusting language” led him to delete the thread. All of which led to Keevers going viral, with a screenshot from a Facebook post showing him threatening to lynch Wilson.
“Need ten good men to help carry out a lynching,” the post says, showing an image of Wilson. “Must have own horse and saddle. Rope will be provided.”
— Lou Thomas (@Rivco12survivor) October 21, 2017
— WomenForSurvival (@WMN4SRVL) October 22, 2017
Trump incites MURDER. pic.twitter.com/dDfjtuzWtZ
— I Stand with Dr. Christine Ford (@AndersonToone) October 22, 2017
According to the Tribune, Keevers can’t remember whether or not he wrote a threat to lynch Wilson. Instead, he thinks a “meme-maker” turned him into a meme. He also downplayed the post as “a joke, as I read it,” pointing out that people “get in arguments on Facebook all the time.”
“I did not use those words,” he told the Tribune. “There is no investigation.”
But Des Plaines police are currently investigating Keevers, and it appears Washington, D.C., is interested in his alleged Facebook post as well. The Tribune reached out to the U.S. Capitol Police earlier this week, and the department responded by saying the force doesn’t “comment on open investigations.” After all, it’s a federal crime to threaten violence against a Congressional representative. Although Keevers claims police told him there is “nothing for me to worry about.”
“People threaten Donald Trump all the time and nothing happens,” Keevers said to the Tribune. “I don’t think a lot about what I write on Facebook.”
Last week, Rep. Wilson revealed that the president called the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson to offer condolences but forgot her husband’s name and then said that he “knew what he signed up for.” Trump later attacked the widow, Myeshia Johnson, over Twitter, claiming he “spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!”
Correction: A previous version identified Wilson as from Illinois. We regret the error.
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Waypoint, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.