Clayton Activist Charged with Illegal Speech, Making Terroristic Threats
(APN) CLAYTON COUNTY, Georgia — In a case that raises serious concerns about citizens’ free speech rights under the federal and state Constitutions, Latausha Nedd, a Black woman from Clayton County, is charged with criminal solicitation and terroristic threats for talking about killing White people in videos she posted online.
The charges seem disproportionate, considering that White supremacist Dylann Roof was not charged with terrorism for actually killing nine Black people in a June 17, 2015 shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina church.
The charges Nedd is facing could potentially result in a sentence of five to ten years in prison, or a 50,000 dollar fine, or both, in Georgia.
Nedd made the videos in response to members of a right-wing vigilante group, called “No Theifs Allowed” [sic], who harassed her online and in person, according to her family, friends, and colleagues.
“Latausha is a well-loved and committed community activist who has worked with several local organizations over the last ten years. She is an artist, a musician, a singer, and an organizer,” Project South, an Atlanta-based organization, said in a statement.
“We stand with Latausha because, if her words and expressions of rage are allowed to be criminalized or called terrorism, not only is her life and well-being threatened; the future of community activism is threatened,” the statement read.
Nedd was arrested at her home by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and Clayton County law enforcement on September 24, 2015.
A team of reporters from WSBTV Channel 2 television news was there; someone apparently tipped them off to the arrest beforehand. The station has had exclusive access to the court proceedings since then.
The federal government quickly dropped its charges, but Clayton County Magistrate Court Judge Wanda Dallas upheld state charges and refused bond in a tense hearing packed with more than thirty of Nedd’s supporters on October 15, 2015.
Clayton County Detective Brian McKay testified about receiving an anonymous email with links to clips from Nedd’s videos, along with her name and address. He maintained that law enforcement was unable to determine who sent the email.
“I don’t think they want to find the sender’s identity,” Gerald Griggs, Nedd’s attorney, told Atlanta Progressive News.
“They want to focus on my client as some domestic terrorist, when in fact she is the victim of terror,” he said.
Under questioning from Griggs, McKay acknowledged that the video clips he saw were not the complete version of the videos Nedd produced.
“These were clips. They were not viewed in their entirety,” Griggs said.
“The entire factual context must be included in order to determine the true threat,” he argued, citing a recent ruling by the state Supreme Court in Harrell v. Georgia, which sided with a man who made threatening comments on Facebook.
Assistant District Attorney Sheryl Freeman countered that the ruling says to “look at the surrounding circumstances and the reactions of the listeners.”
Detective McKay said in testimony the department issued a Homeland Security memo after discovering the videos.
“The police officers took this threat seriously,” Freeman said.
Freeman’s conclusion doesn’t go far in considering the surrounding circumstances, such as the actions of No Theifs Allowed, or the broader backlash against the Black Lives Matter movement.
The government’s action in this case represent what some advocates call “preemptive prosecutions,” which they say have proliferated since the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Support And Legal Advocacy for Muslims (SALAM) and the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms defined preemptive prosecution in a 2014 report.
“Preemptive prosecution is a law enforcement strategy, adopted after 9/11, to target and prosecute individuals… based on suspicion of the defendant’s perceived ideology and not on his/her criminal activity,” the report said.
The report shows that 94.2 percent of all the terrorism-related convictions the Department of Justice lists between 2001 and 2010 have been either preemptive prosecution cases or cases that involved elements of preemptive prosecution.
Nedd is not the only Black person in Georgia angry about police brutality to be charged as a terrorist.
A woman from East Point is facing the same charge for writing, “All black people should rise up and shoot at every white cop in the nation now,” on her Facebook page.
And in Maryland a 20 year-old man is charged with making threats of mass violence for tweeting, “Kill all the white ppl in the town of La Plata.”
Groups like No Theifs Allowed fuel preemptive prosecution.
According to its website, the group’s mission is to: “expose the tactics of Occupy, domestic terrorists, and other groups that work to undermine the essence of America… We maintain a databank of video, document, and audio files that are used as evidence… in enlightening concerned citizens and law enforcement.”
In her statement to police after her arrest, Nedd said members of the group had come to her house, dressed as police officers and tried to lure her outside. No Theifs Allowed had posted her home address online.
A No Theifs Allowed member named Kevin Cook was especially involved in targeting her.
In one of the videos reviewed by Clayton County Police, Nedd speaks to Cook on the phone.
Cook had asked her why she wants to kill cops.
“I don’t want to kill cops, I want to kill you, bitch,” she replied.
Despite Nedd clearly stating that she didn’t intend to kill police officers, Judge Dallas determined that she did intend to do just that.
The judge based her conclusion on statements made in other clips, like one where Nedd wields a guns and says Black people should declare “open season on cracker cops.”
“I do find a true threat here. I find a threat made to a specific group of people. White people. And specifically, white people doing their jobs. Law enforcement officers,” she said.
The judge went on to deliver a lecture that appeared to be driven by her own personal convictions.
“There is clear division in this country. [We] have an allegation of domestic terrorism when we need to be more united against other forms of terrorism… I sit here having seen disparate treatment. But do we want to become as culpable as those who have threatened us? Do we want to incite acts of violence and harm? Does that fix the harm or does it cause more harm?”
She even suggested the prosecutor add the charge of committing a terroristic act.
Nedd remains in jail under unusually strict conditions. She can only have one visitor per week. Her lawyer has tried to make an exception for her father, who himself is a police trainer from New York.
He told APN he does not view his daughter’s videos as posing a real threat to law enforcement.
Project South has called for supporters to pack the courtroom at Nedd’s next hearing.
The hearing will be held at 8am on Friday, October 23, 2015 in Room 201 of the Clayton County Magistrate Court.
This is pure “Rubbish.” Now they want to take away our right to free speech! Why is it that when Black Folks stand up to “Tell It Like It Is” they are all of a sudden “Terrorist.” This is pure Madness! As the Author of this Article stated, “No one went after Dylan Roof as a Terrorist after years of hateful Terroristic Threats against Black people. Even after he murdered nine Black People in a church in S.C. the media has yet to call him a Terrorist? Those white rebel flag waving truck gangs that drove around the sub- division in front of a Black Family gathering in Douglasville, GA. are now walking free on the streets out on bond! They were captured by cameras as threating to return while the police were just standing there with “clip boards” in their hands? Oh, but they are not Terrorist! And the news media in Atlanta never reported on the terrible threats by “armed” rebel flag waving gangs in Conyers, G.A. on Salem Road. This was while an Army of trucks with “armed” white men used the N- Word to the passerby’s on Salem Road as they all crossed I-20 on their way to their Stone Mountain Rally. “I am so sick of these sellout Black folks down in Atlanta.” Here we go again! The same old tired sellout Black folks like Andy Young and John Lewis are first to side with the Governor Nathan Deal with putting some stupid tired Monument to Dr. King up on the top of Stone Mountain? But you never hear a “peep” out of either of these “Civil Rights Icons” when it comes to; The Black Lives Matter Movement, Peoples town fighting for their homes, Black folks being shot down by police like rabbits. Even a poor sick “Gulf War Naked Veteran” shot 4 times by a DeKalb police officer and not a word or no Justice from Cedric Alexander the Chief of police and President Obama’s front man he sent to “Ferguson, MO.” Not a peep about “Sister Latausha Nedd’s” case from: Congressman David Scott, John Lewis, Hank Johnson, Andy Young, Rev. Creflo Dollar Bill, Rev. Eddie Long, Rev. Al Sharpton, Any Black State Senators, etc,etc. Lastly, by the year 2030 there will be no Black problem in America because there will be no more Black folks around. We will go the way of The Native peoples of this land. Has anyone seen a real Native American lately? I think not. And if you think I’m a bit touched, go out on Exit 88 on I-20 East and see the acres of “Coffins” just sitting out in the open! First they take away your right to speech. Then they label all “Activist” as Terrorist. Then what do you think will come next? Read about Germany in 1934. “My God, Wake Up People.” It is already too late!
There is free speech, and there are threats. Very easy to tell the difference between the two. If someone said they wanted to kill you, would you say that is free speech or a threat towards you. Exactly!!!
AAhhhhh…so quick to lay ALL the blame on ‘the white folks’ and the ‘white rebel flag waving gangs’, or better yet all the Uncle Toms that have done their own kind wrong!!! You should all get your stories straight..what exactly is it that you are protesting? do you know? can you say for sure??
Did anybody care about that ‘rebel flag’ 2 years ago? how about 1 year ago? All of a sudden ITS the problem…or is it?
How about killing cops? How many thought about doing that 2 years ago? or 1 year ago?
I’m surprised that you haven’t figured these things out already…maybe you have and you just don’t care. If thats the case then its just all about you then. But if you really stop and think for a minute or two, you’ll see that this is exactly what they are trying for.
SOCIAL UNREST – RACE WAR – Who wins then? NOBODY…and all those “coffins” you mentioned……YEP, thats what they are. and WHO do you think they are for?? and ppssstt…..thats not the only place they have them, and theres more too. During social unrest who do you think goes to the TOP of the list? All the protest groups…you know who they are….BLM, BPP, Militias, patriot groups, KKK, skinheads, you name it…they’ll all go. First to some nice little camp, then who knows…
If we don’t wise up and stop all this crap, its gonna be BAD for all of us…..